Breast Calcifications
Breast Calcifications
Calcifications are tiny particles of calcium The radiologist studies the number, size, in the soft tissues of the breast that are seen shape, distribution and location of the only on a mammogram. They look like tiny calcifications. Often special views of the grains of white sand. Metallic particles from breast using a magnification mammogram
creams, powders or deodorants may look are ordered. Sometimes a 6 month follow-up like calcifications. This is why women are mammogram is done to look for any asked not to use these products before their changes in the calcifications. mammogram.
A biopsy may be needed if the You and your doctor are not able to feel microcalcifications:
breast calcifications. They:

Have an irregular shape.

Differ in size.

Are clustered together in one area.
supplements. 
Are “indeterminate” in nature. Can occur in aging breast tissues that Small amounts of tissue are removed during 
Cannot be detected during your monthly breast self-exam.


Are not caused by diet or taking calcium have had cell damage from cysts, injuries or infections (mastitis). 
a biopsy. The pathologist examines these tissues under a microscope to determine if Can also be a sign that cancer may be they are benign or a breast cancer. Your present. Because of this, radiologists doctor usually receives the pathology report closely study any calcifications that within 48 hours.
show up on a mammogram. Types of Calcifications
Macrocalcifications
These appear as white dots on a It is important to have a baseline mammogram and a yearly mammogram after age 40. This is the best way for breast cancer to be detected in its earliest stage and be treated successfully.
mammogram. They are most often caused by aging. Macrocalcifications are found in 50% of women over the age of 50 and are not usually cancer.
Microcalcifications
These appear as tiny white specks of calcium on a mammogram. Eighty to ninety percent of these are benign (not cancer). A small percent of these may be due to a precancerous breast change or a breast cancer. Rev. 4/09, 5/12, 3/15
©Mount Carmel 2015
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