Core needle biopsy is already commonly used to sample suspect breast tissue for doctors to examine microscopically.

A new type of gene test for breast cancer could ultimately save some women from unnecessary chemotherapy has been found.

Gene expression profiling of needle biopsy samples gave an accurate picture of entire breast tumours, despite only sampling very tiny parts of the cancers.

Looking at gene patterns in the samples may help spot more aggressive cancers needing intensive treatment, but proof of this new test is limited. Further research is needed to determine if core needle biopsies could change the way breast cancer is currently diagnosed and treated.

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