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About a biopsy

During a surgical biopsy, a surgeon makes an incision in your skin to access the suspicious area of cells. Examples of surgical biopsy procedures include surgery to remove a breast lump for a possible breast cancer diagnosis and surgery to remove a lymph node for a possible lymphoma diagnosis.

Surgical biopsy procedures can be used to remove part of a suspicious area of cells ot they can be used to remove all of the cells. Depending on the type of biopsy, a local anesthetics to numb the area of the biopsy, however, some surgical biopsy procedures require general anesthetics to put you in a sleep-like state. 

Analysis and results

The biopsy results help your health care provider determine whether the cells are cancerous. If the cells are cancerous, the results can tell your care provider where the cancer originated — the type of cancer.

A biopsy also helps your care provider determine how aggressive your cancer is — the cancer's grade.