Core biopsy


Diagnosis using core biopsy

This is the most common type of biopsy and is similar to a fine needle aspiration (FNA), but it uses a slightly wider, hollow needle to remove a small piece of breast tissue from the area of concern.

Advantages of core biopsy

Removing a piece of tissue, rather than just cells allows the pathologist to examine any areas of concern in detail and it often gives more information than fluid and cells taken by an FNA. It is less invasive than an excisional biopsy and will leave no scars.

What to expect during a core biopsy

You will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the relevant area, and once it takes effect a small nick or cut is made in the skin and the biopsy needle is carefully inserted.

Usually, a few samples are required and you may hear a clicking noise as each one is taken. It may feel slightly uncomfortable but the local anaesthetic will stop it feeling painful.

Once the samples have been taken, the area will be pressed on firmly to help reduce any bleeding and bruising and then it will be covered with a dressing. The area may feel sore for a few days following the biopsy, but it should soon clear up.

We will fast-track your biopsy results to ensure you know the outcome within a week, sometimes sooner, and will contact you with details of a follow-up appointment to discuss them.

Meet our doctors

Everything we do is focused on designing better care for our patients. With a network of 12 specialist oncology treatment centres across the UK, we provide the most up-to-date treatments and technology as standard.

We attract and retain some of the most experienced doctors in the country, who all have a passion for improving patient outcomes and specialise in the treatment of different types of cancer.

Meet our doctors

Search for a centre near you


Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3BF


Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 7GU


Unit 710, Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Borehamwood, WD6 3SZ


BMI St Martha Oncology Centre, 46 Harvey Road, Guildford, GU1 3LX


17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UA

Milton Keynes

Sunrise Parkway, Linford Wood East, Milton Keynes, MK14 6LS


The Oaks, Fordham Road, Newmarket, CB8 7XN


The Park Centre for oncology, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Nottingham, NG5 8RX


Sandy Lane West, Peters Way, Oxford, OX4 6LB


Bartons Road, Havant, PO9 5NA


Spire Hospital, Chalybeate Close, Southampton, SO16 6UY


69 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD