When doctors need to look closer at a sample of tissue, a biopsy will be used. At Premier Family Medical, our doctors can use biopsies to get the right diagnosis and begin treatment. Utah County area patients can find locations in Pleasant Grove, American Fork, Lehi, Lindon, Mountain Point Medical Center, and Saratoga Springs, Utah.
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Biopsy Q & A

What is a biopsy?

A biopsy is a tissue sample taken from a person’s body for examination and diagnosis of particular conditions. The doctor can suggest a biopsy when a preliminary test comes back with abnormal or irregular results. The suspicious area can be seen during a physical exam or internally through an imaging test.

Why are biopsies done?

Biopsies are frequently performed to look for cancer. However, biopsies can be used to diagnosis several other conditions as well. A biopsy can be suggested when:
  • A mammogram shows a lump or mass, a possible sign of breast cancer
  • A mole’s shape has changed recently and melanoma is possible
  • A patient has chronic hepatitis and the doctor needs to know if cirrhosis is present
  • In some cases, a biopsy of normal-appearing tissue can be used to check for the spread of cancer or the rejection of a transplanted organ

What types of biopsies are used?

There are many different kinds of biopsies. Nearly all of them involve using a sharp tool to remove a small amount of tissue. Numbing medication is typically is applied before the biopsy procedure. Here are some types of biopsies:
  • Needle biopsy: These are the most common and a needle is used to access the target tissue
  • CT-guided biopsy: A CT-scanner is used to help doctors determine the exact position of the needle
  • Ultrasound-guided biopsy: An ultrasound scanner is used to direct the needle into the right spot
  • Bone biopsy: A bone biopsy is used to look for bone cancer and can be performed using the CT scan technique or done by an orthopedic surgeon
  • Bone marrow biopsy: A large needle is used to collect bone marrow. This can diagnose blood diseases including leukemia or lymphoma
  • Aspiration biopsy: Also called fine-needle aspiration, a needle collects material out of a mass
  • Prostate biopsy: Multiple needle biopsies are taken at one time from the prostate gland
  • Skin biopsy: This uses a circular tool to get a cylindrical sample of skin tissue
  • Surgical biopsy: Either open or laparoscopic surgery may be necessary to obtain a biopsy of hard-to-reach tissue. 
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