Are Biopsies Dangerous?

Can Biopsies Spread Cancer?

What is the connection between biopsy and cancer?  Biopsies involve the excision of tissue samples that help determine the presence of cancer.   People are aware that biopsies can spread cancer, but is the threat significant enough?  A recently published press release featuring Hope4Cancer explores the reality of biopsies and if you should really be afraid of them.

“Doctors routinely recommend biopsies to diagnose cancer.  PET and CT scans usually follow.  All of these tests can harm the patient.  Such decisions should not be taken lightly.”

Read more about this highly interesting subject in the article “Do Biopsies Spread Cancer?”  You will be redirected to our main site.  Below is a synopsis from that article.

Biopsy and Cancer

Original article published as a press release on Aug 23, 2012

Could a biopsy and cancer be connected?  That is a frightening thought given the number of biopsies conducted every year.  About 1.6 million biopsies are performed to detect breast cancer alone in the United States.  The same metric for prostate cancer is about 1 million.

So what is a biopsy and why is it important?  Following warnings obtained via symptoms, laboratory tests or screening imaging tests, the typical next step to determine if a tumor is cancerous is to do a biopsy.  A biopsy is a process where a tissue sample from a tumor is excised by a surgeon, and analyzed under the microscope to detect the presence of cancer.   A positive biopsy report triggers further diagnostic, and typically evolves into immediate treatment via surgery, chemo or radiation.

Why Are Biopsies Potentially Dangerous?

Metastasis – The Biggest Danger of Biopsies.  Puncturing the tumor can result in the release in micrscopic quantities of cancer cells into the surrounding lymphatic system of blood vessels.  This can allow the cancer cells to move to distant organs and grow.

Prostate Cancer.  Prostate cancer biopsies require needle aspirations of up to 30 different samples, which means thirty different punctures, and thirty opportunities for cancer to spread.  Additional complications include the prevalence of antibiotic resistant sepsis, a potentially lethal blood infection, in patients undergoing prostate biopsies.

Breast Cancer.  Breast cancer biopsies have been associated with complications such as pain, swelling, bleeding and drainage from the biopsy site.  This can lead to infections. False positives are also prevalent from biopsies, resulting in unnecessary treatments.  Dr. Vincent Gammill from the Center for the Study of Natural Oncology in Solana Beach, California, reported the case of a woman who had successfully battled breast cancer since 1994 with natural methods.  She was convinced to do a needle biopsy by an oncologist, and now she has new tumors growing at each of the puncture sites.  Dr. Gamill states that he rarely sees distant metastasis until after a biopsy, but following that it grows rapidly, especially in the bones.

Bile Duct Cancer.  Researchers at Mayo Clinic reported that transperitoneal biopsy of cancer of the bile duct is connected to a higher rate of peritoneal metastasis, and they have recommended that curative method be implemented, if they exists, without conducting a biopsy.

Biopsy and cancer are connected, and finding alternative ways of determining the presence or extent of cancer is advisable.  This does not, of course, mean that everyone who gets a biopsy will experience metastasis, in fact a good majority may not.  However, the purpose of this article was to outline that a connection between biopsy and cancer exists and must be factored into any decisions that are made by patients.   At Hope4Cancer Treatment Centers we prefer to implement non-invasive diagnostic techniques and blood markers to indicate the presence and progression of cancer.  Our doctors prefer the avoidance of biopsies wherever possible.

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