Does a positive biopsy report always mean cancer?

Medically Reviewed by Checkmark Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Sravanthi Sunkaraneni

A biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of tissue, growth, or fluid is taken from the body in order to examine it closely in a laboratory. It is mostly done to either confirm the diagnosis of cancer or rule out any suspicion of cancer. Other than cancer, it is done to see if a person is a match for an organ plant if they are a donor. If a person is a receiver, it is done to ensure that the body is not rejecting it.  

In some cases, the positive report can even be a false positive. A biopsy is central to the diagnosis of many cancers. Biopsies are highly accurate; pathologists use specialized microscopes to look at the cells in your sample and determine the outcome. In case of any doubt, one can even go for a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis. In some cases, a second biopsy is done if a larger tissue sample is needed to make a definite diagnosis.
The biopsy results can be positive (indicating that cancer is present) or negative (abnormalities, as seen in cancer, are not seen).  A false positive indicates that reports show that the person has the condition or the disease, but in reality, the person does not it. However, this is very rare, and biopsies are usually considered confirmatory diagnostic procedures. False positives are more common in screening tests, as published in the American Cancer Society Journals.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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