A bone biopsy removes a sample of tissue to determine if it is cancerous. Doctors examine the sample in the lab to determine the presence of cancer cells; a bone biopsy tells the doctor if the cancer is primary or metastatic. If needed, a bone cancer biopsy may be:
- Fine needle aspiration: A thin needle is inserted externally and guided to the tumor to acquire a tissue sample.
- Core needle biopsy: A larger needle is used to retrieve a larger tissue sample than a fine needle aspiration biopsy.
- Surgical bone biopsy: Your doctor removes a tissue sample through an incision. The doctor may remove a piece of the tumor or the entire tumor; it is recommended a biopsy be performed by an orthopedic oncologist because the surgery can be influential in your subsequent treatment plan.
Once tests determine a bone cancer diagnosis, your doctor determines how significant the cancer is and defines the stage of the cancer. Staging a cancer diagnosis determines how much cancer is in the body and assists your oncology team in developing the best treatment plan to manage your case.