biopsy

The removal of cells or tissues for examination by a pathologist.  The pathologist may study the tissue under a microscope or perform other tests on the cells or tissue.  There are many different types of biopsy procedures.  The most common types include:  (1) incisional biopsy, in which only a sample of tissue is removed; (2) excisional biopsy, in which an entire lump or suspicious area is removed; and (3) needle biopsy, in which a sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a needle.  When a wide needle is used, the procedure is called a core biopsy.  When a thin needle is used, the procedure is called a fine-needle aspiration biopsy.

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