After a breast cancer screening reveals abnormalities, your physician may use stereotactic breast biopsy to determine whether the unusual tissue is benign or cancerous. During this minimally invasive, outpatient procedure, you’ll lie facedown on an elevated table with holes for your breasts. Using X-ray images as a guide, your doctor will then remove some cells from the abnormal tissue in your breast for examination. A local anesthetic will minimize pain, and no incision is necessary.
If cancer has developed, a sentinel lymph node biopsy will help doctors see if cancer cells have spread to your lymphatic system. Your physician will inject a mild radioactive material or a safe, special dye into your body to locate your sentinel lymph nodes, near the armpits, and then remove the nodes to check for cancer. If they show signs of the disease, you may need more nodes removed. Eliminating them treats your cancer and could help save your life, but may also lead to swelling known as lymphedema. That’s why you’ll find expert lymphedema care at Tri-City Medical Center in San Diego.