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biopsy (BY-op-see)

The removal of cells or tissues for examination by a pathologist. The pathologist may study the
tissue under a microscope or perform other tests on the cells or tissue. There are many different
types of biopsy procedures. The most common types include: (1) incisional biopsy, in which
only a sample of tissue is removed; (2) excisional biopsy, in which an entire lump or suspicious
area is removed; and (3) needle biopsy, in which a sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a
needle. When a wide needle is used, the procedure is called a core biopsy. When a thin needle is
used, the procedure is called a fine-needle aspiration biopsy.

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