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Biopsy causing cancer to spread faster?????

Boki's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi all,

I was just reading about how biopsy actually could cause cancer (otherwise slow process) to metastasize and spread faster to other parts of organism...

Any thoughts / experience on this?

I am just researching my options and learning more about biopsy and all the other terminologies...


Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

I must say I've never heard of this...worked in the medical field for years...
Smart to do your " homework"...best to be armed with good info.
Wishing you the best,

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

My cancer was Stage 3A already when they did my biopsy. I had a mastectomy, radiation, chemo and tamoxifen. I then had a 22 year remission. I had a recurrence in my ribs in 2009. I have been fighting this disease now for 24 years and there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that I am alive today because I had that initial biopsy in 1987.

And here's a link:

" target="_blank">Does a biopsy or surgery cause cancer to spread?

aysemari's picture
Posts: 1596
Joined: Dec 2009

My sister in germany works for a doctor and her doctor is of that opinion.

He says there's a shell around the tumor and when they do a needle biopsy
it leaves an opening and cells could stray. He takes tumors out and then
determines if it's benign or not.

I asked my surgeon about it and he disagreed, I do trust him and to be honest
at that time I did not want to hear it and forgot to do more research on it. I
would like to hear what others know about this subject.

Thanks for posting,


mimivac's picture
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

Most doctors disagree with this theory. Please don't worry about this. The biopsy will not cause your cancer to metastasize. In fact, it caused my cancer to shrink (there were healthy cells surrounding it that dissipated, revealing the smaller actual cancer area). Just get your biopsy done and then take it from there.


Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

I've never heard of this either. You need to get a biopsy to see if you have bc and then where to go from there inre to treatment.

Hugs, Jan

Posts: 548
Joined: Nov 2009

My surgeon told me that the mastectomy could cause even just one rogue cell to roam in my body and maybe attach and grow somewhere.

Posts: 145
Joined: Feb 2010

I had a nurse tell me when my dad had lung cancer and they found another spot and wanted to biopsy it she said it probably is cancer and everytime they disturb the cells it could become alive and grow. Don't know if it is true or not
Hugs:) Robbin

Marcia527's picture
Posts: 2749
Joined: Jul 2006

I had the biopsy and all the testing and they started me on chemo before surgery to shrink the tumor but the surgeon also said it would get the stray cells floating around also. My mom always talked about how surgery spread the cancer (she was talking in-general) but she based that fact on one relative who's cancer spread after surgery and you know you can't make an assumption on just one. Some do and some don't. All of us on this board had a biopsy (I think it's pretty standard) but not all of us have mets.

VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9080
Joined: Aug 2009

discussion .. it's been around for years. I personally feel it depends on the location of cancer, stage, and organ affected.

Just my humble opinion.

Vicki Sam

Posts: 40
Joined: Dec 2010

In my experience as a Surgical Technologist we were always taught that scrubbing the surgical site when there was suspicion of cancer we had to be extremely cautious of that area. Gentle as to not disrupt the shell of the lump. So to me....my common sense tells me why in the world would it be ok to poke it with a needle and leaving it exposed to the process of osmosis and diffusion?
My girlfriend started out with stage 1 cancer and I begged her to make them remove the total lump and not to let them stab it, she did anyway, and shortly after the biopsy proved it was in fact cancer they did a node dissection, they suspected no nodes would be infected but by the time they got around to that about a month had gone by. 16 nodes later, and a PET scan proved that the cancer had spread to her bone. In 9 different areas.
Knowing how much the entire organism of the human body goes through such trauma and weakened with any type of surgical procedure, it is best to do all you can under Knife number one. the continuous back to back procedures with meds also weakens the system making it really difficult to keep an immune system effective. To me the best route for her would have been to have the lump removed, send it off to frozen section, then diagnose. One time under, procedure complete. ONE CHARGE TO INSURANCE. All this little bit here and little bit there just tears down a person's ability to fight back.
It is definately worth doing research on it and making ones own conclusion on the matter. I think intuition and gut feelings go a long way. One thing a woman should never do it go against her intuition. : )

Cinkal's picture
Posts: 161
Joined: Jan 2011

My doctor told me it caused swelling and might be inflamed for a while. It will feel like it has grown until the swelling goes down. Mine has healed and feels like the original size again. He said it will not cause spreading.

Boki's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: Jan 2011

there are split opinions when it comes to the biopsy. I will keep researching as my biopsy is on March 1st.

Thanks to all for your input.

Posts: 3645
Joined: Aug 2009

More than a month til biopsy?

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 579
Joined: Dec 2010

Very interesting and does not surprise me.

sandra4611's picture
Posts: 121
Joined: Sep 2013

If you read the references at the end, you will see most of it came from 20 years ago, and the most recent was from 10 years ago. In the breast cancer world, these studies are not significant, are outdated, and can be harmful for people to read. Even some studies from last year can be disproven this year. That's why reading articles on Google can make you crazy.

Posts: 579
Joined: Dec 2010

I heard as a little girl that when cancer is found surgically just opening the area could let it spread.  I am sure sometimes it must do so.  Opening an active area by knife or air or puncture just makes sense.  May be not every time...............  Another risk we take in order to find the problem in the first place.

mariam_11_09's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Nov 2009

I thought it depended on the cancer.  A coworker had some rare form of cancer of the scalp, the doctor did not know what it was but was going to biopsy.  However right at the time of the biopsy the doctor was called away and another was called in.  The second doctor realised what it might be and removed the whole area, a good chunk of his scalp because if he had cut into the cancer it apparently would have spread all over. 

I have heard some stories similar to this but I haven't heard it with regards to breast cancer.   I do think it is important to do your homework.  I am curious to know the outcome and what you choose.

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