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Breast Cancer

Calcifications on mammogram

11/18/2008

Question:

I am 31 years old and recently had a diagnositic mammogram for a left breast lump that my ob/gyn and I felt during my annual exam. They did a mammogram on both breast and an ultrasound on my left one only. It was determined to be fibrocystic changes in both breasts and everything looked benign in ultrasound. I obtained a copy of the report and was concerned when I read "There are a few punctate alcifications in the retroareolar area of the right breast without pleomorphism. Birad Cat 2 benign finding with fibrocystic change in both breasts and possible small area of adenosis in the right breast." I was told via letter from mammogram center to follow up routinely in 1 year and my ob/gyn`s nurse called to let me know that the doctor looked at my report and that I did not have to go for another mammogram until age 40 (that is 9 years from now). I guess they don`t seem concerened about this but I can`t sleep at night. Everything I have read about calcifications is bad. Does the term punctate mean micro cals? Should I be concerened? Do I need to have a second opinion? I hope I`m overreacting I guess I should be happy I have a bengin report. Please help!

Answer:

Many women have calcifications in the breast and usually they are benign.  The report that you have included with this correspondence indicates that the Radiologist feels that the calcifications are benign.

If you remain concerned, then I would seek a second opinion.  If you do this, however, be sure that you take both the mammogram/ultrasound reports and the actual films with you to your second opinion appointment. 

For more information:

Go to the Breast Cancer health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jean T Stevenson, MD, FACS Jean T Stevenson, MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University