St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center

Patients FAQs

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you probably have a million questions and worries. We understand this; your Cancer Care Center health care team and breast cancer navigator are here to answer any questions and provide reassurance.

Here are some frequently asked questions about breast cancer:

A biopsy offers a definitive diagnosis of cancer. Imaging studies, such as ultrasounds, X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, can show the doctor if there is an abnormality and where it is located, but the doctor cannot definitively determine that the lump is malignant based on a scan. A biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure in which the doctor removes a piece of the mass and sends it to a pathology lab. There, a trained pathologist analyzes it and determines whether it is cancerous.

The biopsy itself is done with a local anesthetic. You stay awake, but the site of the incision is numbed. You may feel some pressure during the biopsy, and afterwards your breast may be sore for a day, but a biopsy is a relatively painless procedure. In addition, once your doctor gets an answer, you can begin treatment immediately. Learn more about breast biopsies.