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Breast Cancer

Vascular calcifications in breast

11/02/2007

Question:

I am a 35 year old woman who had my first mammogram recently. (Breast Cancer is in my family). On the mammogram they found calcifications in one of my breasts. I went in to have a follow up mammogram done and they determined they were vascular calcifications. The radiologist said she was surprised because she usually sees this type of thing in 60+ year old women. I`m fit and healthy and have another mammogram set up in a few months to see if there`s been any changes. They said it could be a sign of cancer and while I`m trying not to worry too much, I have to ask what you have seen in the past with women who have had these types of calicifications. Thank you.

Answer:

There are lots of reasons for calcifications seen in the breast on mammography.  The size and shape and arrangement of the calcifications is important in determining whether or not cancer is a concern and whether or not biopsy is required.  When calcifications are thought to most likely be benign, as in your case, there is a <5% chance of cancer being present.  Of course, we don't like to wait an entire year before checking again, and so a short interval follow-up is recommended to make sure that there is no problem. 

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Response by:

Doreen M Agnese, MD Doreen M Agnese, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery and Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University