Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for purposes of diagnosis. (Many definitions of "biopsy" stipulate that the sample of tissue is removed for examination under a microscope. This may or may not be the case. The diagnosis may be achieved by other means such as by analysis of chromosomes or genes.)
A biopsy may be done, for example, because of concern about cancer. The physical exam, imaging, endoscopy, and laboratory tests may indicate that something is abnormal, but a biopsy may be the only sure way to know whether the problem is, in fact, cancer. In a biopsy, the doctor removes a sample of tissue from the abnormal area or may remove the whole tumor. A specialist trained to examine such tissues is called a pathologist. A pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope. If cancer is present, the pathologist can usually tell what kind of cancer it is and may be able to judge whether the cells are likely to grow slowly or quickly.
n. , pl. , -sies . The removal and examination of a sample of tissue from a living body for diagnostic purposes. A sample so obtained. tr.v. , -sied , -syÂ·ing ...
How the Test is Performed. There are several different types of biopsies. A needle (percutaneous) biopsy removes tissue using a hollow tube called a syringe.
WebMD explains what a biopsy is, why it's done, how results are obtained, and what to expect when you have a biopsy.
breast cancer biopsy ... Imaging studies such as mammogram and MRI, often along with physical exams of the breast, can lead doctors to suspect that a person has breast cancer.
A biopsy is the removal of a sample of tissue from the body for examination. We look at what happens with a liver, endometrial, prostate, skin and kidney biopsy.