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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Biopsy for bone cancer

Biopsy for bone cancer

Two biopsy techniques used for bone cancer detection include:

  • Needle biopsy: For this type of biopsy, your doctor will numb the area with a local anesthetic before inserting a needle into the suspected site to get a sample of cells. In some cases, a CT scan may be used to help guide the needle.
  • Surgical biopsy: This type of biopsy is generally performed under general anesthesia by a surgeon, who will remove a sample of the tissue (incisional biopsy) or the whole tumor (excisional biopsy).

What is a biopsy?

During a biopsy, a doctor removes a sample of tissue or fluid from the body. A pathologist inspects the cells under a microscope to see if they are cancerous. If the cells are found to be cancerous, a biopsy may help determine whether the cancer began at the site of the biopsy or if it started somewhere else in the body and spread to the biopsy site.

Some biopsies are performed endoscopically, others under image guidance, such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the radiology suite. In some cases, biopsies are performed in the operating suite. This allows your doctor to collect tissue from deep inside the body. 

Some sites that are commonly biopsied include the breast, skin, bone marrow, GI tract, lung, liver, bladder, colon and lymph nodes. Our doctors determine the method of biopsy based on several factors, such as the size, shape, location, and characteristics of the abnormality.

Biopsy medical animation

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