FNAB uses a small needle to remove fluid from a breast lump. If the lump does not contain fluid, the needle removes small tissue fragments. Once the doctor removes the fluid, he examines it under a microscope.
There are three ways of locating the breast lumps for FNAB. The first way is by palpitation, which your doctor performs with his fingers while guiding the needle toward the lump. If he cannot find the lump with his fingers, he will use ultrasound or a stereotactic needle method to guide the needle toward the lump. Stereotactic needle biopsy uses computers to map the location of the lump.
In most cases, microscopic examination of breast tissue samples can determine whether the lump is cancerous. Sometimes, FNAB does not provide a clear diagnosis and the doctor may move to another type of diagnostic procedure to determine the cause of the lump.
For needle biopsy of the lung, click here.
Last updated: 01-Jan-00