Image-guided biopsies and other highly advanced diagnostic techniques are being performed at Moffitt Cancer Center, where we are committed to providing outstanding clinical imaging services, conducting extensive research and promoting excellence in education. In doing so, our mission is to continually find newer and better ways to prevent and treat cancer, and ultimately find a cure.
While imaging studies can reveal tissue abnormalities within a patient’s body, images alone cannot provide the basis for a conclusive diagnosis. For diagnostic purposes, a biopsy is the most reliable way to determine whether a suspicious mass is cancerous. This process typically involves the use of a thin needle to remove a small sample of abnormal cells (or the surgical removal of a lump or mass) for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. Biopsies guided by imaging techniques, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and computed tomography (CT) scans, have a heightened degree of precision, allowing a physician to obtain tissue from a targeted area of a patient’s body while minimizing the disruption of nearby healthy tissue.
The benefits of image-guided biopsies as compared to traditional surgical biopsies include:
- Smaller incisions
- No sutures
- Little to no bruising or scarring
- Shorter procedures
- Lower cost
Two common types of image-guided biopsies performed at Moffitt are fine needle aspiration biopsies and core needle biopsies, both of which can incorporate imaging for highly accurate needle placement. At Moffitt, we emphasize an individualized approach to patient care, and the specific type of biopsy recommended for a patient will depend on a number of factors, including the type of lesion and its location.