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Biospy Procedure - What is a Biopsy

Biopsy is a medical diagnostic test used to determine the structure and composition of tissue or cells. Biopsy involves sampling cells or living tissue from an organ or other part of the body. In order to make a diagnosis, examination of the tissue sample is then performed using a microscope. Most biopsy procedures are minor, do not require sedation, and many require no anesthesia or only local anesthesia. Biopsy is derived from the Greek roots "bio" and "opsis". Thus "biopsy" may be loosely translated to "view of the living" or "appearance of life."

Biopsy is a definitive way to test for the presence of a malignant tumor or to confirm if an abnormality is benign (not cancerous). If cancer is present, a pathologist can study the biopsy specimen to help determine what type of cancer exists and to grade the tumor by determining whether the cancer cells are likely to grow or spread slowly or quickly.

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