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Microcalcifications are some of the diagnostic markers our radiologists, who are breast imaging specialists, look for while evaluating your mammogram. Most often, microcalcifications represent a benign process. Only a small percentage are indicative of cancer. In order to evaluate them, we often request additional magnification films (X-rays).
Microcalcifications are seen in the soft tissues of the body, including the breasts, in which there are many benign structures that can calcify. One of the most common reasons for breast microcalcification development is normal breast metabolism. This development is not related to dietary intake. Unfortunately, some cancers also produce microcalcifications, which can be one of the first signs that a small breast cancer may be present. By looking at the size, shape and distribution of the microcalcifications, the radiologist can detect whether these microcalcifications may indicate a possible malignancy.
Sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate benign from suspicious microcalcifications on the mammogram. After careful review of the films, the radiologist will make one of several recommendations. If the microcalcifications are felt to be benign, short-term follow-up examinations will be recommended. When the microcalcifications are indeterminate, other recommendations are made. If the radiologist feels that tissue is needed for a diagnosis, an appointment will be scheduled for a surgical consult.
For more information
or to schedule an appointment for a mammogram,
call the NMMC Breast Care Center at (662) 377-4910 or