A biopsy is the main way doctors diagnose most types of cancer. A doctor removes a small amount of tissue during a biopsy to examine under a microscope. The presence of cancer is suggested by other tests, but a diagnosis can only be made by a biopsy. If your doctor finds something suspicious during a physical exam or other tests, he or she may recommend a biopsy. All biopsies are used to obtain a tissue histopathological confirmation before arriving at a diagnosis. While performing a biopsy it is very important to keep the surgical oncology principle in mind as wrongly placed biopsy might interfere with surgery planning.

Types of biopsies


  • Image-guided biopsy. Some types of biopsies can be image-guided. When your doctor cannot feel a tumour or when the area is deeper inside the body but appears on an imaging scan, he or she may use an image-guided approach. Your doctor guides a needle to the location with the help of an imaging technique during this procedure. Using a fine needle, core or vacuum-assisted biopsy, your doctor can do an image-guided biopsy. On the amount of tissue needed, possible diagnoses and other factors, this depends. On the location and other factors, the type of imaging used by your doctor depends. Ultrasound, Fluoroscopy, Computed Tomography (CT) scan, X-ray and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan are the various types of imaging scans.

  • Fine-needle aspiration biopsy. Your doctor uses a very thin, hollow needle attached to a syringe during this minimally invasive biopsy.

  • Core needle biopsy. A larger sample of tissue is removed by a larger needle in a core needle biopsy.

  • Vacuum-assisted biopsy. To collect a tissue sample through a specially designed needle, this type of biopsy uses a suction device.

  • Excisional biopsy. A oncologist in Kolkata removes the entire suspicious area during an excisional biopsy.

  • Shave biopsy. The doctor uses a sharp tool to remove tissue from the skin surface for this type of biopsy.

  • Punch biopsy. A cancer doctor in Kolkata inserts punch biopsy forceps into the skin during a punch biopsy to take a sample from below the surface of the skin.

  • Endoscopic biopsy. Doctors use an endoscope to take tiny samples of the tissue using forceps in an endoscopic biopsy.

  • Laparoscopic biopsy. Just like an endoscopic biopsy, through a tiny incision, the doctor inserts a thin tube with a video camera called a laparoscope in a laparoscopic biopsy.

  • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. There are similarities in these two procedures. To examine the bone marrow, they are often done at the same time. There are both a solid and a liquid part in the bone marrow. A sample of the fluid is removed with a needle in a bone marrow aspiration. A small amount of solid tissue is removed using a needle in a bone marrow biopsy.

  • Liquid biopsy. A blood sample can be tested for cancer in this minimally invasive procedure. A health care professional collects a routine sample of blood during a liquid biopsy, which is then analyzed in a specific way. A liquid biopsy has less risk to patients compared to a tissue biopsy and doctors can easily perform it multiple times. Doctors can also check the progress of a tumour with the help of it and see how well a treatment is working.

Often it is asked by common people that can biopsy lead to spread of cancer? The answer is that biopsy can lead to spread of cancer if it is done by doctors not versed with the principle of Surgical Oncology.