A biopsy is a sample of tissue or liquid from the body that helps determine if you have a disease. If your doctor finds a lump in part of your body, she will probably do a biopsy to see if it is cancerous or not.

Bios means "life" and opsis means "see" or "sight," so a biopsy is a way for a doctor to look into your body, so to speak, by taking a sample of it. There are different kinds of biopsies, depending on where the tissue is that your doctor needs to look at. You might have a surgical biopsy or a less invasive biopsy by needle.

Definitions of biopsy
  1. noun
    examination of tissues or liquids from the living body to determine the existence or cause of a disease
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    blood test
    a serologic analysis of a sample of blood
    chorionic villus biopsy, chorionic villus sampling
    a prenatal test to detect birth defects at an early stage of pregnancy; tissue from the chorionic villi is assayed
    needle biopsy
    biopsy of deep tissue that is obtained through a hollow needle
    agglutination test
    a blood test used to identify unknown antigens; blood with the unknown antigen is mixed with a known antibody and whether or not agglutination occurs helps to identify the antigen; used in tissue matching and blood grouping and diagnosis of infections
    complement fixation test
    a blood test in which a sample of serum is exposed to a particular antigen and complement in order to determine whether or not antibodies to that particular antigen are present; used as a diagnostic test
    PSA blood test
    a blood test that measures levels of a protein called prostate specific antigen that is manufactured exclusively by the prostate gland; men with prostate problems usually have elevated levels of PSA
    type of:
    diagnostic assay, diagnostic test
    an assay conducted for diagnostic purposes
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