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  • How Can a Biopsy Miss Breast Cancer?


    In some cases, a biopsy can miss breast cancer.

    How can a needle biopsy miss breast cancer?

    With needle biopsies, this can happen if the needle takes a tissue or cell sample from the wrong area or if there is a problem with the sample. Even when samples are taken from the correct area, false negative results can occur if the pathologist misdiagnoses tissue or cells as benign when in fact, they are cancer.

    Learn more about needle biopsies.   

    How can a surgical biopsy miss breast cancer?

    With surgical biopsies, it is less likely that breast cancer will be missed, but this can still happen if the wrong area of tissue is removed. The use of needle- and wire-localization procedures before the biopsy and X-rays of tissue samples after the biopsy help limit this problem.

    Learn more about surgical biopsies.   

    Getting a second opinion  

    • You should feel comfortable getting a second opinion before your biopsy or after, when you have the results. 
    • Most health plans allow you to get a second opinion, as long as the second health care provider is a member of your health plan.

    Learn more about getting a second opinion.

    Updated 10/22/13


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