Archived: This summary is based on a report that is greater than 3 years old. Findings should not be considered current. This is a summary of a systematic review update evaluating the current evidence regarding the comparative effectiveness of core-needle biopsy and open surgical biopsy for diagnosing breast lesions. The systematic review summarizes the accuracy and possible harms of various core-needle biopsy methods.
Evidence Summary: False-Positive and False-Negative Rates of Digital Mammography Screening
False-negative results of breast core needle biopsies – retrospective analysis of biopsies
Topic: biopsy - false negative?
Imaging studies such as mammogram and MRI, often along with physical exams of the breast, can lead doctors to suspect that a person has breast cancer. However, the only way to know for sure is to take a sample of tissue from the suspicious area and examine it under a microscope. A biopsy is a small operation done to remove tissue from an area of concern in the body. If your doctor feels anything suspicious in your breast, or sees something suspicious on an imaging study, he or she will order a biopsy. The tissue sample is examined by a pathologist a doctor who specializes in diagnosing disease to see whether or not cancer cells are present.
Nancy Shute. Pathologists use slides like this one to look for signs of cancer in breast tissue. When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, the person who does the diagnosing is a doctor she never sees — the pathologist. But though pathologists do a great job of identifying invasive cancer, they aren't as good at spotting two less clear-cut diagnoses that bring women a lot of uncertainty and worry, a study finds. The doctors correctly identified invasive breast cancer 96 percent of the time compared with an expert panel, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, and correctly identified normal tissue 87 percent of the time.