Biopsy: A test helps you diagnose cancer

A biopsy is a highly accurate procedure that examines the cause and degree of damage. This test is especially common in diagnosing cancer to promptly prevent life-threatening risks.

The procedure for a biopsy is completely painless and low in risk. Depending on your condition, the doctor will take a piece of skin, tissue of a suspected organ or tumor and send it to the lab for examination. Join us to find out what a biopsy is, how it works and how it works.

What is a biopsy?

A biopsy is a highly accurate medical procedure used to diagnose most cancers. Imaging tests like CT and X-rays can only help identify areas to be examined, but can't distinguish between normal and cancer cells.

A biopsy is done by taking a sample of tissue from any part of the body, like the skin, organs or other structures. The sample will then be examined under a microscope to make a more accurate diagnosis. The purpose of this procedure is usually to check for an abnormal function of a part or an abnormal change in cell structure such as tumor, swelling, tumor .

A biopsy is usually linked to cancer, but when your doctor asks for a test, that doesn't mean you have cancer. Doctors use this procedure to check whether abnormalities in the body are due to cancer or other problems.

For example, if a woman has a breast lump, imaging tests will confirm the tumor. A biopsy will help determine whether it is breast cancer or another condition, such as multiple cystic fibrosis.

Types of biopsy tests

Biopsies are categorized into several different types, which the doctor will choose based on the suspect's condition and area on the body. Whatever type of biopsy you have, you will have local anesthesia to relieve the area pain being performed. Here are some types of biopsies you should know:

1. Bone marrow biopsy

Picture 1 of Biopsy: A test helps you diagnose cancer
If your doctor suspects that there is a problem with the blood, you will have a bone marrow biopsy.

Inside some large bones, such as the hip or thigh bone, blood cells are produced by a porous material called bone marrow. If your doctor suspects that there is a problem with the blood, you will have a bone marrow biopsy.

A bone marrow biopsy can diagnose cancerous and noncancerous conditions like leukemia, anemia, infection or lymphoma. The test is also used to check if cancer cells from another part of the body have metastasized to the bone.

2. Endoscopic biopsy

Endoscopic biopsy is used to approach the tissue inside the body to collect samples from organs such as the bladder, colon, lungs .

During the procedure, the doctor will use a flexible thin tube called an endoscope with a small camera and a light. Doctors use video screens to view images making it easier to collect samples. After doing this, you may feel slightly uncomfortable, flatulence, flatulence or sore throat.

3. Needle biopsy

This test is used to collect skin samples, or for any tissue that is easily accessible under the skin. Different types of needle biopsies include:

  • Core needle biopsy : This test uses a medium sized, large needle to reach the core of the central tissue, for example a tissue taken from a tumor central core in the breast.
  • Fine needle biopsy : This biopsy test uses a small needle attached to the syringe, which allows fluid and cells to be removed, used in case of a tumor, palpable tumor.
  • Axial biopsy : This procedure is done for non-palpable areas, but can be seen through X-rays or CT scans so that the doctor can access specific areas, such as the lungs, liver. or other agencies.
  • Vacuum assisted biopsy : This is a test that supports a vacuum device, which helps to injure, operate, and avoid scarring, often used in breast testing.

4. Skin biopsy

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A special instrument punches a small hole through the top layers of the skin to take a skin sample for a biopsy.

Your doctor may order a suspected skin biopsy if you have a rash, skin lesions, suspect a certain condition, are unresponsive to your doctor's treatment regimen, or have no known cause.

A skin biopsy may be done using a local anesthetic, then removing a small part with a knife or using a press biopsy, a special device that punches a small hole through the top layers. of the skin to get a skin sample.

5. Surgical biopsy

Occasionally a patient may develop suspected abnormal areas but the use of the above biopsy test methods is not safe and effective, or the results of other test samples are negative, for example. like a tumor in the abdomen near the aorta. In this case, the surgeon may need to take samples using either endoscopy or traditional surgery.

The effect of biopsy

A biopsy helps to diagnose by providing a piece of tissue to test when inaccessible from outside. This test is often related to cancer, and it can be used to diagnose other conditions and the degree of disease progression. Some of the effects of a biopsy include:

  • Cancer biopsy : If the patient has a tumor or swelling somewhere in the body without a clear cause, the only way to determine whether it is cancer is through testing.
  • Stomach biopsy : This procedure can help your doctor determine if stomach conditions such as stomach ulcers are caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A small intestinal biopsy may be used to evaluate patients with malabsorption, anemia or celiac disease.
  • Liver biopsy : This can help a doctor diagnose a tumor, or cancer in the liver, diagnose cirrhosis, or cirrhosis, when the liver is scarred from an injury or previous illness, such as alcohol abuse or long-term hepatitis. A biopsy may also be used to assess how the patient responds to treatment.
  • Infection test: A needle biopsy can help determine whether you have an infection, and what type of organism is causing it.
  • Inflammatory test : By examining cells, such as a needle biopsy, your doctor can determine the cause of inflammation.

The process of performing a biopsy

A biopsy is usually done in a hospital, surgery center or specialist's office. To be able to perform a biopsy, you need to pay attention to the following stages:

1. Before performing a biopsy

A biopsy may require some preparation from the patient such as avoiding eating and drinking a few hours before the test. Tell your doctor the medications and supplements you take. You may need to stop taking certain medications before the test, such as aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

You will have a blood test and an evaluation of allergies to the related substances. Depending on the type of biopsy, your doctor will direct you to more specific things before the procedure. You will need to sign a consent form for this test.

2. While performing a biopsy

Biopsy samples will be sent to a laboratory and tested by a specialist. Samples can be chemically processed, cut into very thin parts and studied under a microscope. These slices are attached to a slide and the rest of the tissue is usually saved for later research. Sometimes the tester can dye the sample to help see the cells more clearly.

In the case of cancer, the test specialist will need to determine if the sample is malignant or benign. If the case is malignant, they will assess how the cancer is invasive or progressing. In the case of benign cases, depending on the size of the tumor and the risk of becoming malignant, the doctor will give an appropriate solution. Finally, the testing specialist will prepare a report that includes any abnormal or important findings to the doctor who requested the biopsy.

3. After performing a biopsy

In most cases, a biopsy is an outpatient procedure, you can go home as soon as the procedure is completed. If a tissue sample is taken from an internal organ, the patient may need general anesthesia and must stay in the hospital overnight. A scraping of a tissue sample from inside the mouth usually doesn't require anesthesia, but the area may feel painful for a while.

If the sample is taken from a major organ, such as the liver or kidneys, you may have to rest in the hospital for a few hours before you can go home. After a biopsy of the cervix or lining of the uterus, a person may have mild vaginal bleeding.

Is biopsy safe?

A biopsy is usually safe , which is considered to be a very low-risk procedure with a small chance of infection, the risk of infection requiring antibiotic treatment is often very low. Sometimes the test can affect nearby organs, such as damage to the intestines during a abdominal biopsy.

Risks may include the possibility of bleeding, wrong placement of the test, insufficient sampling of the sample, which can lead to erroneous results and need to be repeated. A study of test results used in clinical trials shows that only 5.2% of biopsies lead to complications.

Currently in Vietnam, many hospitals have a biopsy laboratory so you can perform this procedure when needed. Biopsy tests not only help you diagnose the disease correctly but also assist in treating the disease in assessing the effectiveness of the treatment regimen. It is important to watch for abnormal signs in the body, as any subjectivity can potentially lead to cancer.

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