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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Basic Tissue Orientation and Paraffin Embedding Technique. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Breast Cores

Breast cores in an undesirable random arrangment.

Breast core biopsies well arranged in the block face.

Breast cores are similar to other core biopsies, except that a larger bore is used so the cores are often thicker in diameter. Breast cores require special fixation considerations for microscopic and immunohistochemical evaluation.
All the submitted cores should be sent for histology processing. Calcifications may be present, and these must be correlated with radiologic findings. These calcifications may present sectioning problems, so when embedding, try to position visible calcifications so that they will cause the least damage to the largest tissue area if this is possible.
As with other similar biopsies, embed the cores in parallel rows in one flat plane, rather than in random arrangements in the block face.