Breast biopsies are frequently submitted for frozen section or immediate pathology consults to obtain a diagnosis.
If the lesion is small and a frozen section would compromise the evaluation of a tumor and/or of the margin/s, the pathologist will convey this to the doctor. If a specimen mammography has been performed, be sure to keep the tissue oriented, and to include the specimen radiograph. Hormone receptor studies are now routinely performed on the paraffin-fixed tissue after routine processing. Therefore, breast biopsies no longer need to be received fresh unless the submitting doctor requires an immediate Pathologist Consult or Frozen Section.
1. If frozen section is requested: saline-moistened gauze
2. 10% neutral buffered formalin container (of appropriate size) with formalin hazard label
3. Specimen Requisition
4. Specimen Bag with a biohazard label
• Breast specimens requiring an immediate pathology consult or frozen section should be
sent fresh on saline-moistened gauze.
• Routine specimens should be sent in an appropriate sized container of 10% neutral
• Label specimen container with patient name, specimen type and location (including
"right" or "left" designation if applicable).
• Submit all patient information following the procedure for "Completing a Surgical
• Complete test requisition including last and first name of patient, patient's date of birth
and social security number, body site and source of specimen collected. Label specimen
container (using the labels provided on the requisition) with patient's first name and last
name, and body site/source. The container must have at least two (2) unique identifiers.
Examples of unique identifiers: patient name, DOB, unique bar code,
etc. Include pertinent clinical information, i.e., previous malignancy, radiation therapy,
drugs, etc. Place container in a specimen bag with a biohazard label. Place the requisition
in the side pocket of the specimen bag.
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