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Breast Cancer

Breast Calcifications Unchanged at Six Months

03/19/2010

Question:

Hi. I had my first mammogram last year at age 41. I was asked to return given that I had a small cluster of round micro cacifications (around 5).

I was rated birads 3 and was asked to return in six months. They said that the reason they were calling me back at all was not because what they saw was so concerning but because they did not have a baseline for me given that it had been my first mammogram.

I did return around six months later, and there had been no change in the calcifications. They said standard practice was to return in another six months for my regular mammogram with a diagnostic on the concerning breast as well. I did speak directly to both the radiologist and the beast surgeon just to be sure I was understanding them, and continued to get the message that it was not overly concerning, but they wanted to just monitor me. They said if I was nervous I could have a biopsy if I wanted, but they were not recommending it as necessary at this time. 

I like to be proactive and want to make sure I have checked everything I can. Should I get a breast biopsy or should I be reasonably reassured that if nothing changed in six months I am probably ok, or at least if there is something it is not fast growing or aggressive.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Answer:

This is standard procedure to determine stability of calcifications that appear “low risk” and it is fine to repeat in 6 months. The quality of the recommendation depends a little on the quality of the facility, their radiologists and equipment. Hopefully, you are having digital (not film) mammograms, especially because of your young age.

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Response by:

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