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Breast Cancer

Pleomorphic Calcifications



I am a breast cancer survivor; I had a mastectomy of my right breast in April 2008, with Stage IIb cancer. I had 16 rounds of chemo and was also on Herceptin. I am now on Tamoxifen for five years. According to my oncologist, they got all the cancer, and he said it`s pretty unlikely that the cancer would come back.

Having said all that, I had a mammography of my left breast on August 31, which came back as Bi-Rads 4, with diffuse pleomorphic calcifications, with no evidence of a spiculated mass. My question is: what is the likelihood that these calcs. are cancerous? I know that diffuse usually means benign, but that pleomorphic can be cancerous. Also, since I`ve been on so many drugs, I can`t believe that any cancer would still be in my body. I have a stereotactic biopsy scheduled just to make sure, but was wondering what you think. (my oncologist said he thought everything would turn out normal). Thanks in advance for your reply.


When mammograms are classified as BI-RADS 4, there is about an 85% chance that they will be benign.  There is only about a 15% chance that a cancer would be identified.  Of course the stereotactic biopsy is the best way to know for sure.

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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