Diagnostic Testing and Procedures



Based on the results of your exam, your physician may decide it’s necessary to remove fluid or tissue from the breast to be sent to the lab to look for cancer cells. The procedure is called a biopsy. It can be done using a needle to get a piece of the area of concern, or it can be done with surgery.

Diagnostic Testing and Procedures


NSMC Salem Hospital
Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care:

  • Fine needle aspiration biopsy

A physician may use this procedure when a breast mass is easily felt. A thin needle is inserted into the area of concern and fluid or a small amount of tissue is extracted and analyzed for cancer cells.

  • Ultrasound-guided cyst aspiration

Ultrasound technology is used to guide physicians as they remove fluid from a breast cyst to be analyzed for cancer cells.

  • Ultrasound-guided breast core biopsy

Using ultrasound technology, a radiologist confirms the location for biopsy with a core needle. Cells are extracted and analyzed for the presence of cancer cells. 

  • Stereotactic core breast biopsy

Mammography (x-ray from two angles) and a computer guidance system is used to guide the radiologist in precisely locating the area to be biopsied with a core needle. To schedule an exam, please call 978.882.6161.

  • Needle localization procedures

Mammography helps radiologists locate and mark the area of concern preoperatively for the surgeon.

MRI procedure


NSMC Magnetic Imaging
4 Centennial Drive
Peabody, MA 

  • MRI-guided core biopsy
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guides the radiologist in obtaining a small tissue sample for biopsy.