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There are multiple types of breast biopsy procedures that may be utilized for patients. One includes an ultrasound-guided biopsy. However, an ultrasound may be used with another aspect of breast biopsy. Breast biopsy follow up ultrasound can be a useful part of the whole breast health package for patients.
Regardless of procedure, the reason a breast biopsy is performed is to remove tissue or cells in order to examine them under a microscope. A biopsy may be ordered by a physician when a patient has a lump or breast abnormality that is suspicious.
The biopsy results will indicate if the tested area is benign or malignant.
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Ultrasound Follow Up
An ultrasound uses sound waves to create images, so the internal parts of the body may be examined in a non-invasive way. This test does not use radiation and is safe for patients. It is commonly used to examine the developing fetus of pregnant women.
No preparation is required before an ultrasound, other than the patient may be asked to put on a gown for easier access to the site to be checked.
A doctor may order follow up ultrasound after a breast biopsy for a patient when the decision is made to place a marker at the biopsy site. The follow up ultrasound will likely be scheduled to take place about six months after the biopsy. The purpose is to help watch the site and detect any possible changes. The marker is the indicator for the physician of the exact location in case more testing is required and so the physician may monitor the suspicious area.
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Why It Is Important
Breast biopsy follow up ultrasound is important because it is one tool of many used to help detect breast cancer. Early detection is key, so a patient needs to be vigilant about keeping all appointments for testing and exams. The follow up ultrasound will help the doctor determine what the best next step is for the patient.
Some patients experience anxiety about possibly getting unwanted results and therefore skip medical appointments. Breast cancer is highly treatable when caught early, so the best thing a patient can do is keep all appointments and follow all of his or her doctor's instructions. Men can get breast cancer, too, so it is just as important that men do not allow possible feelings of discomfort related to a possible breast cancer diagnosis interfere with the way they take care of their own health.
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Breast Cancer and the Breast Biopsy. Last Reviewed by Arnold Wax, MD. June 20, 2009. http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/guide/breast-biopsy
General and Breast Biopsy. Washington Radiology Associates. http://washingtonradiology.com/patient-education/biopsy.asp
Ultrasound Guided Core Needle Breast Biopsy. Iowa Radiology. (pdf) http://www.iowaradiology.com/quickguide/Womens_Imaging_US_Core_Needle_Biopsy.pdf
Cancer Facts and Figures. The American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@nho/documents/document/860009web_6-4-09.pdf.pdf