Monday, June 14, 2010

Biopsies

A biopsy is when they find a lump that isn't supposed to be there, so they take a tiny bit of the lump out to see what it's made of (especially to see if it's cancer). And the if it's cancer, they go in again and take the whole thing out and maybe blast you with radiation too.

So why not take the whole lump out the first time they go in to do a biopsy? It's not supposed to be there even if it isn't cancer. If it is cancer that just needs a lumpectomy, hey, guess what, you've cured it! All done, off you go, have a nice day! And if it's cancer that requires further treatment, you're going to need to go in for further treatment anyway.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that biopsies are a lot less invasive than the actual removal of cancerous tissue can be. My friend had a biopsy of a lymph node and when it came back positive they removed a good deal of skin and other tissue around the node, leaving a pretty big scar. If they have just done that right away and it had come back negative, they would have had to look at other lymph nodes and he would still have the original big scar and missing tissue for nothing.

L-girl said...

A biopsy is tiny, brief procedure, usually very non-invasive. A lumpectomy can be much more invasive, plus the surgeon doesn't know, is it a benign lump and only the lump has to come out (if at all), or is it cancerous so much more surrounding tissue has to come out, and the person may have to make decisions about chemo and other treatments.

Also, biopsies are not only performed on lumps. A biopsy can be performed anytime a test shows abnormal cells. So a biopsy can be done, say, of cervical cells when no lump is present.

impudent strumpet said...

Funny that they can't just yoink the thing out with one of those skinny things (laproscope or similar). If surrounding tissue needs to come out, they'd need to do a second procedure anyway, but if it's just small and isolated they could stop at one.

L-girl said...

They probably do that sometimes. But a biopsy can be done with something even less invasive (theoretically), a very very fine needle. They numb the area and it doesn't really hurt at all.