Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest

NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


  A procedure to take a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope. An endoscope with an ultrasound probe and a biopsy needle at the end is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing. The ultrasound probe is used to bounce high-energy sound waves off internal organs and tissues to make a picture on a monitor. This picture helps the doctor see where to place the biopsy needle. Also called endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration.

Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy; drawing shows an endoscope with an ultrasound probe and biopsy needle inserted through the mouth and into the esophagus. Drawing also shows lymph nodes near the esophagus and cancer in one lung. Inset shows the ultrasound probe locating the lymph nodes with cancer and the biopsy needle removing tissue from one of the lymph nodes near the esophagus.