Daily Archives: July 13, 2012
After spending the day at home with the flu (supposedly this is the worst flu season in Melbourne since the Swine Flu pandemic), Mommy and I went off to see the boobie surgeon – a lovely, reassuring, female doctor who fondled my boobies (causing a great deal of pain –was that FM or my swollen glands?)
So, as I assumed the other day, she is sending me off for a core biopsy. A-ha! What is a core biopsy, you might ask.
A core needle biopsy is used when your doctor needs more information about a breast lump than a mammogram, ultrasound, or fine needle aspiration (another time they get to poke you with a needle, just a thinner needle) can give. Having a breast biopsy of any kind can be stressful, but it’s a good way to find out the true character of a breast lump.
A core needle, or hollow core needle, is used to get small tissue samples (although larger than a fine needle aspiration) from a breast lump. The tissue samples get sent to the pathology lab for examination. This whole thing is going to be performed at a radiology lab (not the same freezing one as the other day!) by a doctor who is trained in the technique.
So what is going to happen on the day? I will be awake during the procedure, but my boobie will be asleep (numbed with a local anaesthetic). The doctor will locate the lump with guidance from an ultrasound machine. The doctor will insert the core needle via a 1-2cm incision (no stitches will be required) into the lump to take tissue samples. It will be uncomfortable but I shouldn’t feel any significant (?) pain.
After this wonderful experience, pressure will be applied via a dressing and I will probably be given a tiny ice-pack to reduce any swelling. My tissue samples will be tested in a pathology lab, and a written report will be sent to my boobie surgeon.
A core needle biopsy is between 97 and 100% accurate in giving a diagnosis. A negative result means that no cancer was found (we’re hoping for this one, guys!) A positive result means that the mass is malignant, and more tests will be needed to get an accurate diagnosis.
So, now I think I may have done my part for Breast Cancer Awareness – let’s hope this needn’t go any further. Whatever happens, I’ll let you know.