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Common Biopsy Specimens

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Tissue samples — also called biopsy specimens — usually come from one of the organs or organ systems listed below and help us diagnose common diseases.

Type and Possible Reasons for a Biopsy

Breast

  • Breast cancer
  • Fibrocystic disease
  • Breast duct papilloma

Prostate

  • Benign prostatic hypertrophy/hyperplasia
  • Prostate cancer

Lung

  • Lung cancer
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pneumonia

Uterus/cervix/ovary

  • Cervical cancer
  • Endometriosis
  • HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • Ovarian cancer

Colon and stomach

  • Colon and stomach cancer
  • Colon polyps
  • Crohn's disease
  • Ulcerative colitis

Skin

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

Bone marrow/blood/lymph node

  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Anemia

Thyroid

  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis
  • Thyroid cancer

If you are looking for information about a biopsy or condition that is not listed above, please visit our Health Library.