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A 33-year-old female asked:

If a lump in the breast is detected via ultrasound, is the only solution to know if it is benign or not is by taking a biopsy?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Accurso
Radiology 30 years experience
Generally: To know what the lump is, assuming it is not a simple cyst, a biopsy is needed to get tissue from it and look at the cells under a microscope. However, the ultrasound appearance can sometimes predict what the biopsy shows, based on the presence or absence of specific findings on the ultrasound image. Please see a breast health professional to discuss options based on the particular situation.
Dr. Michael Gabor
Diagnostic Radiology 34 years experience
It depends: Sometimes benign features are so characteristic on ultrasound that there is little chance of malignancy, and the lesion can be safely followed with serial imaging. Otherwise, biopsy is probably indicated.
Last updated Jun 11, 2014

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