A biopsy is the removal of a sample of tissue or cells. The sample is examined under a microscope.
A biopsy may be taken from any part of the body.
A biopsy is used to see if the cells from a sample of tissue are abnormal. A biopsy is done to rule out cancer and/or to specify its type and level of aggressiveness.
Biopsies are sometimes taken to find out the cause of an unexplained:
Common interpretations of biopsies include:
- Normal tissue, no abnormalities
- Irritated tissue
- Not normal, but difficult to interpret
- Not normal, not cancerous, but a precancerous condition
Last reviewedFebruary 2015by Igor Puzanov, MD; Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.