Healthy Living: Calcifications
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Mammograms are often the first diagnostic tool that detects benign lumps in the breast, cancerous tumors and sometimes calcifications.
"Calcifications within the breast can represent degenerative tissue, fibrocystic changes and a number of entities that are benign and non-proliferative and do not demonstrate any increased risk," surgical oncologist Dr. Arvind Mahatme said.
Calcifications are evidence tissue has broken down. It has the appearance similar of tiny stars.
"Are they all together kind of forming a little grouping or are they individualized in different parts of the breast or a linear patterns that is concerning for an inter-ductal tumor and deemed to have a high likely hood of being cancer," Dr. Mahatme said.
For many women who have calcifications, doctors may wait six months and repeat the mammogram. If a pattern does develop, action like a biopsy may be done.
For most women, especially older women, calcifications are common and often don't warrant any immediate action.