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What Are Calcium Deposits in the Breast?

By Marcia Frost ; Updated August 14, 2017

A mammogram can be one of the best tools in detecting early breast cancer, but it can pick up many irregularities in the breasts, including calcium deposits, also known as calcifications, that are not necessarily cancerous.

Description

Calcium deposits in the breast show up on mammograms as dots or dashes that are white (macrocalcifications) or as fine specks that are similar to a grain of salt (microcalcifications).

Type

Calcifications are defined as benign, probably benign or suspicious. If the calcium deposits are considered benign, they will not become malignant (cancerous). Some calcifications categorized as probably benign may become cancerous in later years.

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History

Calcifications are common among women and can be more prevalent after menopause. If there is a history of calcium deposits, especially in younger women, further testing may be ordered.

Considerations

Macrocalcifications are rarely cancerous. Microcalcifications are usually noncancerous. In addition to the type of calcium deposits, their pattern also plays a role in malignancy

Warning

Discuss calcium deposits in the breast with your doctor and follow up with any additional tests (such as a biopsy) that are suggested. If you are still concerned, get a second opinion.

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