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Breast Cancer

Microcalcifications

04/07/2008

Question:

i am 44 and was told that there were some microcalcifications on my mammo. The doctor told some additional pictures and I was told that they did not look suspicious and to come back in six months for another mammo to see if there were any changes. I am scared. Should I be concerened or request about having a biopsy or mri of my right breast or wait out the 6 months. How serious are these micrcalcifications. thank you

Answer:

Mammographers (breast radiologists) look closely at small calcium deposits in breasts on mammograms (and the extra images do help) and decide whether the films look suspicious or not. Then they have fairly reliable criteria that they use to help decide if calcifications need to be biopsied or can be watched. Many calcifications in breasts are benign (non-cancerous) and will not change on follow-up mammograms.

One thing you can do , since you are worried, is to make an appointment with a surgeon/breast specialist to perform a breast exam and review the mammogram findings with you and help decide if waiting 6 months is a good choice for you or whether there are other options that would be better. Definitely follow up with the 6 month mammograms, though, regardless.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University