A biopsy is a medical test involving the removal of cells or tissues for examination. The tissue is often examined under a microscope and can also be analyzed chemically (for example, using PCR techniques).
When only a sample of tissue is removed, the procedure is called an incisional biopsy or core biopsy. When an entire lump or suspicious area is removed, the procedure is called an excisional biopsy. When a sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a needle, the procedure is called a needle biopsy or fine-needle aspiration.
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