If your doctor suspects that you have breast cancer, he will recommend that you go in for a breast cancer biopsy. In this, some of the breast tissue is extracted with the help of a needle and is sent to the lab for analysis.
Steps To Prepare For A Breast Cancer Biopsy
Schedule An Appointment
Before you go in for a biopsy, schedule an appointment with your doctor and ask him/her what the procedure will entail. Some biopsies are routine and done with the help of a needle. Other biopsies may also require surgery.
It is very frightening to know that you are having a biopsy and may be diagnosed with cancer but not all biopsies indicate the presence of a malignant tumour.
Biopsies are always done as a routine measure once a lump in the breast is diagnosed but not all lumps turn out to be cancerous and most of them are harmless and benign.
Your Medical History
Before the biopsy is scheduled, the doctor will ask you your medical history, whether you have any allergies or are taking anti coagulants like aspirin. A biopsy may be postponed if you are suffering from an illness or are not able to lie on your stomach for too long.
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The Use of MRI in Biopsy
In case the doctor decides to conduct your biopsy with the help of MRI, make sure you tell him if you are pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant. The MRI will also not be conducted if you have a cardiac pacemaker inside you.
Carry a Bra
Carry a fresh bra with you for the procedure. Once the biopsy is over, the surgeon may place a cold pack against the puncture site and the bra will help to support the pack.
It is important to take rest the day the biopsy is carried out especially if it was a fine needle biopsy. In case the biopsy was done via surgery, then a more extensive rest over a period of few days will be required. In case of a surgical biopsy, you will have stitches and the doctor will give you some self-care instructions on how to prepare for the biopsy.
Have Someone Drive You
Make sure you take a friend or a companion with you for the breast biopsy. The procedure is done with a simple local anaesthetic but can be mentally draining and stressful and it is a source of comfort to have someone with you to provide support.
Make sure you wear something loose and comfortable. You will be asked to lie and remain bare from the waist-up so you will be more comfortable in a pair of slacks or sweats than skintight jeans.
Like any minor surgical procedure, remove all make up and jewellery for the actual procedure. Jewellery if any will not be allowed. Also, do not wear a lotion, deodorant or powder. If you receive general anaesthesia for a surgical biopsy then your vital statistics may be monitored for at least an hour after the procedure.