Cancer impacts people of all ages.

When a physician suspects cancer, the only way to diagnose it is through a biopsy. Biopsies involve removing a small portion of tissue or fluid and examining under a microscope. This is the only way to make an accurate diagnosis of cancer.

Biopsies may sometimes take place in the physician’s office; however, sometimes surgery may be needed to collect tissue or fluid. Different biopsies exist for each location.

At Jamestown Regional Medical Center, the following are six biopsies offered to help diagnose cancer.

  1. Vulvar, also known as a vaginal biopsy, takes samples of tissue from the vulva or vagina. This biopsy is done to determine the ‘why’ behind a newly found lump or sore.
  1. Cervical. This biopsy can remove a portion of tissue for testing, but it also can remove all abnormal tissue. Punch and cone biopsies, as well as endocervical curettage, are three available types of cervical biopsies.
  1. Rectal. Patients that display symptoms of anal cancer have biopsies taken. Rectal biopsies involve removing tissue from the rectum for further testing.
  1. Transperineal test looks for cancer cells within the prostate using a needle biopsy. The needle is placed into the prostate through the perineum, the skin behind the testicles.
  1. Breast biopsies remove tissue or fluid from the tested area. The cells are then examined through a microscope and tested for breast cancer. This test can be done through fine-needle aspiration, core-needle biopsy and surgical biopsy.
  1. Prostate biopsies are recommended if a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test displays higher than normal levels or if a physician finds any lumps or abnormalities during a digital rectal exam. Prostate biopsies utilize needles to collect tissue or fluid from the prostate.

“When it comes to cancer, it is better to be certain and biopsy than to just write it off as normal,” said Dr. Bailey Runkles, JRMC gynecologist & obstetrician.

For women’s health screenings and prostate exams, schedule direct: (701) 952-4878.


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