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A 39-year-old member asked:

why do most breast cancer biopsies end up being benign?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Craig Carter
Thoracic Surgery 40 years experience
Not cancer: Biopsies are done for the presence of a mass. Most masses are not cancer, so the majority of biopsies are going to be negative. The alternative is to do fewer biopsies, which leads to more anxiety about the existence of an undiagnosed mass.

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Similar questions

CA
A 39-year-old member asked:

After a papilloma biopsy was the chance of getting breast cancer?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Slightly increased: Intraductal papillomas are benign breast duct tumors that are often associated with nipple discharge. Women with papillomas have a 1.5-2 fold increased risk of cancer. When a papilloma is found in the periphery of the breast (away from the nipple), it should be surgically removed to be certain that there is not an underlying cancer present.
Nigeria
A 30-year-old female asked about a 77-year-old female:

How long does breast cancer biopsy normally takes for a result to be out.

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Norman Solberg
Obstetrics and Gynecology 55 years experience
It depends: If the doctor processes the biopsy quickly, the answer can be ready the next day. During surgery, something called a frozen section can be done, and the result known during the surgery. However, the patient may not be informed of the results for up to a week or longer. Sometimes this is due to processing, time to send the biopsy to the lab, time for a report to come, back, etc. Ask your docto.
A 34-year-old member asked:

Can you tell me are most biopsies positive for breast cancer?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lauren Stegman
Radiation Oncology 27 years experience
No: Only about 25% (1 in 4) of all breast biopsies done because of a suspicious finding on mammogram and/or ultrasound turn out to be positive for cancer. This is because many small borderline spots are biopsied to make sure they are not cancer. A doctor should be able to give a better estimate for an individual based on the size and appearance of the abnormality, age, and other factors.
A 48-year-old member asked:

Are most biopsies 100% accurately positive for breast cancer? I'm really worried.

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Maricer Escalon
Hematology and Oncology 22 years experience
Depends: Hello- sorry to say nothing is 100% accurate. If a biopsy is negative this does not completely rule it out in some cases. If a biopsy does see cancer than it is usually (but not always) accurate. If you have doubts, please seek a second opinion from a pathologist at a major cancer center (a university hospital is usually a good place to send the slides and blocks from your biopsy). Good luck.

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Last updated Jul 15, 2019

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