What do small calcifications in the breast mean?
Although breast calcifications are usually noncancerous (benign), certain patterns of calcifications — such as tight clusters with irregular shapes and fine appearance — may indicate breast cancer or precancerous changes to breast tissue.
Are microcalcifications precancerous?
Microcalcifications are small calcium deposits that look like white specks on a mammogram. Microcalcifications are usually not a result of cancer. But if they appear in certain patterns and are clustered together, they may be a sign of precancerous cells or early breast cancer.
Does breast calcification go away?
In current literature, disappearing calcifications have been scarcely reported in fewer than 10 studies. It has been demonstrated that a decrease in or complete resolution of breast calcifications is most concerning when it is associated with an extra breast mass, architectural distortion, or increased density [4,5].
What are the types of breast calcifications on a mammogram?
Breast Calcifications on Your Mammogram 1 Types. There are two types of breast calcifications, and they often mean very different things. 2 Pattern and Shape. 3 Benign (Non-Cancerous) Causes. 4 Diagnosis. 5 Calcifications in Breast Cancer. 6 Arterial Calcifications and Heart Disease.
What percentage of mammograms are recalled because of calcifications?
In a screening mammography program, the rate of recall because of calcifications was 1.7% and of these, 19% resulted in a cancer diagnosis 13. In the digital mammography era, about one-sixth of all recalls are for calcifications 15.
What is the rate of detection for breast calcifications?
Calcification-specific cancer detection rates in the era of digital mammography range from 1.9 to 3.2 in 1000 screened 13,14. A third of breast cancers show calcifications as the only mammographically suspicious feature 13 .
What do microcalcifications on a mammogram mean?
If your mammogram shows microcalcifications that may suggest breast cancer, a biopsy is recommended. A biopsy means that a small area of the suspicious breast tissue is removed and examined under a microscope for cancer cells. The most common procedure after calcifications are found is a stereotactic breast core biopsy.