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Doctor insights on: If Small Calcifications Show Up On A Digital Mammogram Should You Be Concerned

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If small calcifications show up on a digital mammogram, should you be concerned?

If small calcifications show up on a digital mammogram, should you be concerned?

Not necessarily: The majority of women undergoing mammography will have calcifications on their mammogram. A small percentage will need to be looked at closer and may require a biopsy. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
664 Doctors shared insights

Mammogram (Definition)

A mammogram is the "gold standard" screening test for breast cancer. It's well established that yearly 'grams will DX cancers well before they are palpable, leading to earlier diagnoses and saved lives. All experts agree to begin yearly mammograms by age 50; many (including myself) believe the pro's outweigh the con's to begin at 40. Regrettably, less than half of all women ...Read more


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Should I be concerned if small calcifications show up on a digital mammogram?

Should I be concerned if small calcifications show up on a digital mammogram?

Maybe: The majority of times calcifications seen on mammogram represent benign (not cancer) changes. However, new calcifications, or those that are different shapes/sizes or appear to be distributed along the length of a milk duct could indicate cancer so needle biopsy is sometimes recommended. Comparison to old mammograms can be helpful to determine if biopsy is needed or not. ...Read more

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If small calcifications show up on a digital mammogram, should I be concerned about cancer?

If small calcifications show up on a digital mammogram, should I be concerned about cancer?

Need follow up: Calcifications can be benign or malignant. If malignant, it is usually a early, treatable cancer.
If calcifications are on a mammogram that were not present before, you need additional mammogram views. This includes magnification for a better look. In most instances, it will be recommended to repeat the views in 3-6 months. In some cases a biopsy may be necessary. ...Read more

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If small calcifications show up on a digital mammogram and not on a breast sonogram. Should I be concerned?

If small calcifications show up on a digital mammogram and not on a breast sonogram. Should I be concerned?

Calcifications: Small calcifications may be difficult or impossible to visualize on ultrasound, while being relatively easy to see on the mammogram. The fact that the calcifications are not seen on US doesn't make them any more or less suspicious. Speak to your doctor about the next steps to take. ...Read more

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Radiologist or Gyn question: During a digital mammogram, can a radiologist see Seborrheic Keratosis on the breasts? I have 3 large and 3 small. Will she know what they are or mark them as suspicious?

Radiologist or Gyn question: During a digital mammogram, can a radiologist see Seborrheic Keratosis on the breasts? I have 3 large and 3 small. Will she know what they are or mark them as suspicious?

No.: Ordinarily, seborrheic keratoses are not visualized on mammography, digital or otherwise. A dermatologist can tell you about them, sometimes with just a glance. ...Read more

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Can a radiologist tell if a nodule is cancer just by looking a on a digital mammogram?

No. Diagnostic: Radiologists specialize in mammo interpretation, but they describe findings, suggest more imaging, but the truth comes only after biopsy. Screening is done with x-rays that are not sensitive in many cases, diagnsotic procedures can be much more sensitive. False results, positives and negatives, plague x-ray mammograms. ...Read more

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Can a radiologist tell if a nodule is cancer or not just by looking on a digital mammogram?

Can a radiologist tell if a nodule is cancer or not just by looking on a digital mammogram?

Biopsy for diagnosis: A radiologist may suggest that a nodule has the characteristics of cancer, but definitive diagnosis requires biopsy or removal of the nodule and examination of the tissue by a pathologist. ...Read more

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What should I expect from a baseline digital mammogram?

What should I expect from a baseline digital mammogram?

Satisfaction...: ...That you have taken a proactive step to check for breast cancer before it is palpable, significantly increasing your chance for cure. Mammograms are screening tests, meaning that they will find many "false alarms" at the expense of not missing cancers. As often as 5-10% of the time, you will be asked to come back for a closer look, ultrasound, etc--don't be alarmed--better safe than... ...Read more

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I am going for a baseline digital mammogram. What should I expect?

A dood idea: Do not apply deodorant that day. The test takes only a few minutes but leave yourself an hour or longer for the paper work and if they had to do more images. Some patients experience some discomfort with the mammogram. But most do not. You should be able to resume your usual activities afterwards. If you don't receive your results in 2-3 weeks call and inquire. Also schedule a clinical breast exam. ...Read more

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For best detection which is best digital mammogram or sonogram?

For best detection which is best digital mammogram or sonogram?

Mammogram: A mammogram (preferably digital) is still the best screening imaging tool. Ultrasound is not currently used as a universal screening modality. However, it is an excellen adjunct test if there is a clinical, mammographic or MRI abnormality which needs further evaluation. In addition ultrasound is also very effective in targetting a lesion which may need a biopsy if it can be seen by ultrasound. ...Read more

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For breast which is best digital mammogram or sonogram?

For breast which is best digital mammogram or sonogram?

Depends, maybe both: A digital mammogram is the standard for mammograms. Sometimes an ultrasound may be added to get more information, especially if you have dense breast tissue. In younger women with dense breasts, a mammogram may no be done and then we go straight to ultrasound.
A breast radiologist and breast surgeon will be able to make the appropriate recommendation for you. ...Read more

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Which is a better diagnostic procedure a digital mammogram or sonogram?

Digital mammogram: For general screening, mammograms, while imperfect, remain the best tool and digital mammograms are better at "seeing through" breast tissue. A mammogram is more likely to miss cancers in women with dense breast tissue and young women. Ultrasound is most often used with mammogram either to help characterize abnormalities seen on mammogram or to aid in finding abnormalities in dense breast tissue. ...Read more

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I'm 55 and have very dense, cystic breasts. I just had my yearly digital mammogram and it was inconclusive?

I'm 55 and have very dense, cystic breasts. I just had my yearly digital mammogram and it was inconclusive?

Define INCONCLUSIVE: After having a mammogram, the report should include a follow-up plan, listed as a birads code. This will spell out exactly what the next step should be: immediate further testing (ultrasound, compression mamm, mri), short-term follow-up, biopsy, etc. If you don't have a clear understanding of the next steps, please talk to the doctor who ordered your mammogram or see a breast specialist. Good luck. ...Read more

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I have very dense, cystic breasts. I just had my yearly digital mammogram and it was inconclusive. Should I write my will?

I have very dense, cystic breasts. I just had my yearly digital mammogram and it was inconclusive. Should I write my will?

No: This means that the mammogram did not provide enough information because your breasts a difficult for the x-rays to penetrate. Contact your doctor or radiologist to see what is the next step. Most likely you will need a ultrasound as the next step. When you have cystic breasts, it is common to require additional pictures beyond a mammogram. ...Read more

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How much radiation is there in a digital mammogram? The clinic keeps telling me it's like a plane flight, but I don't believe them.

How much radiation is there in a digital mammogram? The clinic keeps telling me it's like a plane flight, but I don't believe them.

Radiation: Mammograms require very small doses of radiation. The risk of harm from this radiation exposure is extremely low, but repeated x-rays have the potential to cause cancer. The benefits of mammography, however, nearly always outweigh the potential harm from the radiation exposure. Digital mammograms use slightly less radiation than conventional. ...Read more

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53 yrs old. Recent digital mammogram informed I have dense breast tissue, negative for ca. Should the results be trusted because of density.

Probably: If you have no added risk factors such as a history of brca gene positive, strong family history, prior breast cancer, palpable mass etc. Then all you need is annual breast exam/mammogram. Added risk factors may indicate need for MRI and, in that case, you may want to discuss this concept with your doctor. ...Read more

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How many x rays needed for each breast in a digital mammogram? I had 3 x-rays in the left breast and 2 in the right breast because 1xray was not clear.

How many x rays needed for each breast in a digital mammogram? I had 3 x-rays in the left breast and 2 in the right breast because 1xray was not clear.

This is about right: Typically a mammogram will include 3 views in order to get side views, top to bottom views and a front view of the whole breast in order to look for any abnormalities in different parts of your breast. ...Read more

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I have few scattered calcific foci in bilateral breast. No other focal lesion seen in mammogram of both breasts. Should I get worried?

I have few scattered calcific foci in bilateral breast. No other focal lesion seen in mammogram of both breasts. Should I get worried?

Concerned: And follow-up.
To be calcified, these have existed for a while. Self and professional exams are important, along with excellent mammograms.
Your gyn and / or breast specialist will follow with you. ...Read more

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My mammogram shows clustered pleomorphic calcification should I be worried?

Be concerned!: By your description a biopsy would be indicated. This can be performed with ultrasound guidance if there are findings by u/s in the region, or if not, with stereotactic guidance. These can easily be performed by a radiologist skilled in these procedures, or by a breast surgeon. This should be done as soon as possible. ...Read more

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My wife had a mammogram over a year ago. Had small calcification. Now has grown through skin draining smelly fluid. She won't go to dr. What is it?

My wife had a mammogram over a year ago. Had small calcification. Now has grown through skin draining smelly fluid. She won't go to dr. What is it?

Need a Doctor: This sounds serious. Maybe you can enlist another family member or close friend to help convince her to see a doctor or go to the emergency room. ...Read more

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Dimple, and linear calcifications in breast. MRI set for Mon. Morning. What will the MRI show, as opposed to mammogram and ultrasound?

Dimple, and linear calcifications in breast. MRI set for Mon. Morning. What will the MRI show, as opposed to mammogram and ultrasound?

I see: You have a history of DCIS on the right, a lump on the left, and new calcifications on the right. If you have had surgery/radiation, then post treatment scarring etc... can look suspicious on mammo/US. MRI can tell the difference. Also, MRI is better at preoperatively determining extent of disease, looking for additional suspicious areas, and evaluating the opposite breast. ...Read more

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Mammogram shows macro calcifications, & bilateral axillary sub cm nodes. Ultrasound shows normal readings. Strong family history of bc &uterine cancer.

Mammogram shows macro calcifications, & bilateral axillary sub cm nodes. Ultrasound shows normal readings. Strong family history of bc &uterine cancer.

Calcifications: Whether or not calcifications need to be biopsied primarily depends on their size, shape, and distribution. If they are typically benign based on those criteria, biopsy is usually not indicated. "Sub centimeter" axillary lymph nodes are normal findings. ...Read more

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Mammogram shows macro calcifications but ultrasound is normal. Have a family history of bc and uterine cancer. Is biopsy needed for further evaluation?

Mammogram shows macro calcifications but ultrasound is normal. Have a family history of bc and uterine cancer. Is biopsy needed for further evaluation?

More info: Is needed. Whether or not calcifications need to be biopsied depends on their size, shape, and distribution. If they are typically benign by those criteria, they don't need to be biopsied. ...Read more

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After a mammogram I was recalled I had a further 6 mammograms and was told I had calcification?

After a mammogram I was recalled I had a further 6 mammograms and was told I had calcification?

Calcifications: There are many causes of breast calcification, most of them benign. Howver, some cancers can cause calcifications. Radiologists determine the level of suspicion, if any, by the size, shape, and distribution of the calcifications. Follow up with your doctor to determine whether these calcifications need to be biopsied, or can safely be ignored, or need to be followed up. ...Read more

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Mammogram report:benign appearing calcification are present on the left.2 obscured masses are seeing 0.7 and 1.0cm. Is the rprt describing dif finding?

Without the: Benefit of the full report, hard to say for sure, but it sounds like they are describing three findings: a benign calcification of no concern, and two partially visualized masses measuring 0.7 and 1cm. It is probable that the partially obscured masses will need additional evaluation with specialized mammographic views and possibly ultrasound. ...Read more

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What could cilateral vascular calcification seen on mammogram mean?

Vascular: Calcifications on a mammogram are benign in terms of breast cancer detection. However, in a young woman, it could be a sign of diabetes or other condition causing early atherosclerosis. Talk to your doctor about it. ...Read more

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Magnified mammogram due to multiple calcifications?

The size, shape,: And distribution of the microcalcifications is important in determining the level of suspicion. Specialized magnification mammograms use a smaller focal spot and smaller field of view. This increases the spatial resolution of the mammogram and increases the conspicuity of the calcifications, so the radiologist can more accurately evaluate these features. It is the standard of care for calcs. ...Read more