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    Dr. Juan Godinez explains the various types of lymph node biopsies performed in cancer

    Irving, TX – Mar 14, 2020 –Lymph node biopsies are used by doctors to check for signs of cancer.  They are performed by taking out a small piece of the lymph node for examination in the lab. Lymph nodes are small organs in the body that play a vital role in filtering out harmful substances such as germs. A lymph node biopsy helps to diagnose cancer or find out if it has spread to another area in the body. It can also find infections that may cause certain symptoms such as swelling in the lymph nodes.

    “Lymph node biopsies are safe procedures, although you may feel a little pain or experience some bleeding afterward,” explained Dr.Godinez. “Some procedures have short recovery times, while others may have longer recovery times. After the biopsy, you can return to your regular activities immediately, unless you received general anesthesia, for which you might need to rest for a while before resuming your normal routine.”

    Here are the types of lymph node biopsies used in cancer;

    • Sentinel lymph node biopsy–This biopsy is used to check whether cancer has spread to another area. When cancer spreads, the first place it lands to is the sentinel lymph nodes. The biopsy allows doctors to find the sentinel nodes by injecting a radioactive substance into the area near the tumor. The lymphatic system will send the dye to the sentinel nodes, and the doctor will be able to spot them and take them out. The procedure is less painful since the patient will be put on anesthesia.
    • Fine needle aspiration – This is where the doctor uses a thin needle with a hollow tube in the center to get fluid and cells from the lymph node. The samples will be examined for disease. You may be given local anesthesia.
    • Core needle biopsy – Core needle biopsy is similar to fine needle aspiration, only that a larger needle with a larger hollow center will be used to take out a block of tissue from the body. You will get local anesthesia as well.
    • Open biopsy – In an open biopsy, the doctor will cut into your skin to take out all or part of your lymph node. You will be under local anesthesia or general anesthesia, as the doctor will recommend. After the procedure, you may need stitches.

    “The time it takes to get biopsy results varies,” continued Dr. Godinez. “The samples will be checked for signs of cancer. If cancer is found in your cells, more samples will be taken, and further tests recommended to find out the behavior and activity of cancer.”

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