Mammogram with punctate pleomorphic calcifications. Is that breast cancer?

Needs investigation. Although breast calcifications may not necessarily mean cancer, pleomorphic calcifications are suspicious. A biopsy should be done. Talk to your doctor. Pleomorphism means that something is of varying shape and characteristics. A non-cancerous or benign calcification will be read as "benign-appearing". Don't delay your biopsy.
Oxymoron. Microcalcifications are usually described as either punctate (benign) or pleomorphic (in determinant to suspicious) not both. Ultimate definitive diagnosis may require tissue sampling that is best done via stereotactic guided core biopsy. See a breast surgeon for further evaluation.
Depends, not likely. Usually, calcifications do not mean cancer, and are not themselves cancerous. However, tight clusters of microcalcifications are seen with breast cancer. Many times, a repeat mammogram would be done in about 6 months to see if there are changes. If there were, a biopsy would be done. At this point, it would appear that no suspect changes are noted. Check with your doctor to be sure.
You can't . be sure it's cancer until it's biopsied. "Punctate" and "pleomorphic" are mutually exclusive terms, so the description of the microcalcifications doesn't make sense. It's like calling something square and round at the same time....it is impossible. Moreover, punctate usually implies benignity, and pleomorphic is suspicious. Were they called suspicious? Was a biopsy recommended?

Related Questions

How does breast cancer appear like on a mammogram?

Density or Ca++. Mammograms will often detect areas that are more dense than normal breast tissue or that have little flecks of calcium within milk ducts. These may be categorized based on risk, with those that are deemed suspicious warranting a biopsy. Of those abnormalities that are biopsy-worthy, about 15-30% end up being cancerous. Read more...
Crab like mass. Irregular, with multiple crab like projection. Read more...
Quite variable. Breast cancer can appear as a spiculated mass, cluster of tiny calcifications, smoothly marginated mass, area of subtle distortion or be invisible on mammogram. Some tumors are only seen on ultrasound and a few are only felt by you or your doctor. The point is that the appearance of tumors on mammogram is quite variable. Read more...
Multiple ways. Breast cancers can have multiple appearances: round mass, irregular mass, asymmetry, distortion of normal architecture, microcalcifications, skin thickening, nipple retraction, skin retraction, abnormal lymph node. . Read more...

Could a mammogram before 40 increase risk for breast cancer?

Good point. Risk of radiation induced breast cancer is probably negligible, compared to benefits of mammography. But you should undergo any test only when it is medically indicated, because every diagnostic test has its risks as well as benefits. Read more...
Radiation . Every X-ray, mammograms included, causes a very slight increased risk of radiation induced cancer. For mammo and other diagnostic studies, the benefit far outweighs the minimal risk. Read more...

What are the current mammogram recommendations to prevent breast cancer?

Variable. Most us radiographic and oncologic groups recommend annual screening beginning at age 40. (continuing as long as life expectancy exceeds 10 years.) european groups point out the lower likelihood of breast cancer in young women and the higher false positive rate and recommend later, and less frequent screenings. Obviously - a strong family history may change your personal recommendation. Read more...
Prevention. Women should have annual mammograms starting at the age of 40. In addition a clinical breast exam should be performed at that time. Women with a strong family history may start early and have more frequent exams. Read more...
Mammograms don't. prevent breast cancer. The purpose of mammography is to detect early breast cancers, when they are more curable. According to the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, and others, annual screening mammography should begin at age 40. Screening may begin sooner if you are a BRCA carrier or are otherwise at high risk. . Read more...

Are there alternatives to mammogram for breast cancer screening?

None as good. Mammograms are the best test for detecting breast cancer. It is not clear that breast exams by a health care provider add benefit (tho they may), and breast self exams have not been shown to be beneficial. Certainly, if you notice a bump, a change in skin, a nipple discharge or any abnormality that you are concerned about, you should get it checked out. Read more...
Mammography. is currently the standard of care for screening. It has the most scientific validation and, whatever its imperfections(no test is perfect), all of the other potential screening modalities are more imperfect for various reasons. Ultrasound and MRI have niche screening roles in special situations. Read more...

Family history of breast cancer, when to get a mammogram and ultrasound?

Know history. It is important to find out the ages of family members who have breast cancer. If it is a mother, sister or grandmother who was diagnosed before age 50, then you may need to start 10 years prior (i.e. If mom was 42, then start at 32). It also important to have a risk assessment and find out if there is any brca mutation in the family. Read more...
See below. If you have a first degree relative (mother or sister) who was diagnosed at age <50 then take the age at diagnosis and subtract 10 years. So if your mother was diagnosed at age 46, you would start at age 36. Otherwise, all women should start annual screening mammograms at age 40. Read more...

Do you think I should get mammograms earlier or be tested for the breast cancer gene?

Why? Do you know of a family risk pattern of breast cancer in a first degree relative (mother, sister, daughter)? Yes you should be having yearly physical examination and mammograms after age 40. Ask your doctor if you should have genetic testing (brca testing). Read more...
If you are. 45, you should already be getting mammograms according to ACS guidelines. If you have a strong family history, genetic testing might be appropriate, but talk to your doctor about it. Read more...

Is it likely that this is breast cancer if they call you back for x-rays after a mammogram?

Not always. Sometimes we need a second more detailed look at a "spot" or calcification in the breast with different xray views. This helps us decide if you need to do nothing, more tests, a biopsy, or 6 month repeat mammogram. Also if you have any mammograms performed at a different imaging center, please try to get those films for the radiologist to compare and see any changes over time in your breasts. Read more...
No. Often they need to change the compression/ include areas they missed to get it perfect -that should be done while you are still in the mammo. Room -sometimes they bring you back for mag views for calcifications to assess their number/shape or compress an area of distortion/overlapping shadows - vessels- ducts -cooper's ligaments or do an ultrasound to see if a mass is a cyst.1st call is?Bx needed. Read more...
Odds are not. Screening mmgs involve 2 quick views - one from the top and one from the side. Depending on how hard they pull or squeeze or position the breast, tissue can overlap and look more dense. With additional compression, this spreads out and disappears thus benign. If its a true mass, the surrounding tissue thins and the mass becomes more obvious. Characteristics of calcs are better seen on mag views. Read more...
Can be. But additional views are needed sometimes to be sure. They are sort of like close up pictures. Not always cancer. May lead to ultrasound or MRI of the breasts. Read more...
No.... It is more likely that you are fine. Depending on the center you are seen at, recall rates vary from 1 in 20 to 1 in 10. Of those recalled, approximately 15% will need biopsy and of those biopsied 20% will be cancer. These numbers are from research studies and may not reflect the performance of your local mammography center. Read more...
No, it is. the opposite. At least 80% of the time these recalls turn out to be nothing of concern. Read more...

My dad's mom had breast cancer and now my mom had breast cancer. Even though I am not yet 40 should I have a mammogram?

Maybe. You should ask your doctor to refer you to a genetic counselor to evaluate your long term risk for breast cancer. Depending on your risk, there may be a role for genetic testing for genetic predisposition for breast cancer in your or your mother. In some cases, it makes sense to do annual breast mris, as they are more sensitive than mammography in younger women. Read more...
Need more info. I'm sure that it feels that you have a "double dose" of risk, but, if these are your only family members with breast (or ovarian) ca, you are not high-risk for hereditary breast ca (we tend to see this type in families with multiple members with ca, especially prior to menopause or when in both breasts) & can wait till 40. That said, a mammogram is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Read more...
Yes. Generally, patients who have a first degree relative should start annual mammograms starting at an age 10 years younger than your mother was when she was diagnosed. I would recommend you start. Read more...
YES. I really don't have enough famiy history, but baseline mammograms can be done between 35-40 years anyway-without extra family history.Please also note if you ever feel unusual senastions-unequally in your breast-not pain really but tingling in onebreast that persists for month - any nipple dischatge esp only in one breast. Go to a physician/ medical center known for tx/prev. Of breast disorders. Read more...
More to my answer. Dear patient, mammogranms are very important. But, mammograms are not created equal. The type of mammo machine, the technician who does the mammogram, the radiologist who reads the mammogram, the physician who reads the report, the report being discussed with you in detail, and appropriate recommendations following the report based on your exam and history. All affect the reliabilty of the mammo. Read more...
High risk evaluation. I recommend you seek out a high risk breast program or specialist to do an extensive family history to determine when and what type of screening is indicated. Read more...
You should have. a comprehensive risk assessment, then you and your doctor can assess whether it would be appropriate to begin early screening. Read more...