Skill Checkup: A 56-Year-Old Woman With a History of Breast Cancer and Pain in Her Ribs and Spine

Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH


January 14, 2022

Although bone scan is also considered in her workup, biopsy is the immediate next step in workup for this patient, especially given her history of breast cancer and palpable mass in the right breast.

Regardless of whether a palpable mass is seen on mammography or imaging, it must be biopsied. This is particularly important for a patient with a history of breast cancer. In most cases, a core needle biopsy should be performed with imaging guidance for evaluation of a suspicious mass.

HR (ie, estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor) status as well as HER2 status are usually confirmed via immunohistochemistry staining of a biopsy specimen, if there is evidence of cancer.


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