Dear Mon66: An excisional biopsy may be recommended in cases where there is concern that a needle biopsy might not be representative of the area of concern or if there is intent to remove an entire lump. Your doctor should be able to clarify this for your situation if this is a question you are pondering for yourself.
There has been a lot of controversy on the news lately about the number of excisional biopsies still being done - mainly for the revenue they generate. Needle biopsies are much less expensive with less chance of postop problems. Unfortunately with needle biopsies you have the chance of needle tract seeding when the needle is withdrawn if the lump has cancerous cells they can escape. Upon investigating and asking questions, I found out that radiation will clean up the rare cells that have escaped.