difference between fine needle aspiration and biopsy

Had a scan and fine needle aspiration about 5 weeks ago.Didn’t get results or hear back so assumed fine.Wasn’t too woried as I was due annual mammogram beginning April which I had.Had an appointment with the Oncologist last week who said every thing was fine.Saturday morning received a letter calling me back for a further mammogram and biopsy examination for this tueday (5th May)! Am now in shock as I had bc march 07 and thought after having got results everything was fine!!! Not too sure what to think at the moment.Can anyone tell me what the difference is between a biospy and FNA/Scan and why you would have one and then the other.Also is it normal when Oncologist says everything fine you would be called back for mamogram and biospy!

Hazel, I’m really new to this, so I’m not sure if this helps. I had a FNA in the lymphs glands/nodes but as it only takes fluid rather than actual tissue it can be inconclusive. I had biopsy on the lumps using a scan and as it takes a bit of tissue it is always (or nearly always) more accurate. Hope this helps, don’t really understand what is going on for you, as it seems really bad to leave you hanging on and giving you the all clear and then calling you back again. I really hope it is good news for you. x

Hi Hazell

Welcome to the BCC discussion forums. As well as the information you receive from the other users you may find it helpful to read the BCC booklet ‘Referral to a Breast Clinic’ as it gives details of the different tests, including mammogram, ultrasound scan, core biobsy and fine needle aspiration cytology.

I have this helps

Kind regards
Sam (BCC Facilitator)

When you have a lump a FNA is usually done first to see if they can draw some fluid out of the lump.This fluid is tested for suspicious cells.Usually with a cancer they dont get any fluid at all as it is solid-maybe some blood.A biopsy takes a sample of the tissue which can be tested.The findings can be confirmed by mammo.I cant imagine what is going on in your case but it may be to do with the April mammo not your recent tests so problem could have been sorted by your fna and its just a crossed wire in your breast clinic.
Good luck


Sorry to hear of your confusing time.I will share my experience with you which does have some similarities but I don’t know whether it will help.

When I found my lump I was given a portable ultrasound and and FNA. I was given the results of these the same day and told everything was fine.However I was unexpectedly called back two weeks later and they said they were worried after all about the results from the FNA.I have since had the letters to my GP about these results. The first time the FNA results said ‘incomplete/unhelpful’ ( so I have no idea why I was told these were ‘fine’). The second letter says the FNA rsults were ‘suspicious,possibly malignant’. All very odd when it was the same FNA cells, but I was told that somebody had looked at the results again in more detail.

I went on to have a mammo,ultrasound and a core biopsy on the recall. I was told that the core biopsy would get more cells partly as it could be punched into various places in the ‘dubious area’ whereas the FNA doesn’t collect as many cells. My results were still inconclusive and it took the removal of the lump to discover DCIS in the end!

Sorry this is so long winded but I too was confused as to why my results could be ‘fine’ one day and not two weeks later. But my experience doens’t mean your will be the same,

TAke care
Love Freddie xxxxx