Symptom: Breast calcifications

    Breast calcifications are calcium deposits within breast tissue. They appear as white spots or flecks on a mammogram and are usually so small that you can't feel them.

    Breast calcifications are common on mammograms and they're especially prevalent after menopause. Although breast calcifications are usually noncancerous (benign), certain patterns of calcifications — such as tight clusters with irregular shapes — may indicate breast cancer.

    On a mammogram, breast calcifications can appear as macrocalcifications or microcalcifications.

    If calcifications are suspicious, more testing may be necessary, including additional mammograms with magnification views or a breast biopsy.

    Breast calcifications
    1. Previous injury or surgery to the breast (fat necrosis)
    2. Skin (dermal) or blood vessel (vascular) calcification
    3. Breast cysts
    4. Fibroadenoma
    5. Cell secretions or debris
    6. Mammary duct ectasia
    7. Mastitis
    8. Previous radiation therapy for cancer

    Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.


    Your doctor will set up the appointment for the additional mammograms, which will likely include magnification views of the calcifications, or biopsy, if recommended by the radiologist. The radiologist may request any prior mammogram images to compare and determine if the calcifications are new or have changed in number or pattern.

    The radiologist may recommend a six-month follow-up for another mammogram to see whether the breast calcifications have changed in appearance or whether they're stable or unchanged.


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