Mammogram - calcifications

Calcifications are very commonly seen on a mammogram. These are small white spots on the mammogram. They do not relate to the amount of calcium you eat or take in medication.

Most calcifications are not a sign of cancer.

Large rounded calcifications (macrocalcifications) can be caused by:

  • Hardening of the arteries in the breast
  • Noncancerous breast lump called a fibroadenoma
  • Previous infection or inflammation

These calcifications do not need to be biopsied or watched with mammograms.

Microcalcifications are tiny calcium spots. These can also be noncancerous.

When several calcifications with irregular sizes and shapes are tightly clustered together, cancer is a possibility.

  • If the calcifications are not too suspicious, they can be watched with a follow-up mammogram.
  • If they appear suspicious, your health care provider will recommend a stereotaxic core biopsy. This is a needle biopsy that uses a type of mammogram machine to help find the suspicious calcifications.

See also: Breast biopsy - stereotactic

Alternative Names

Calcifications on mammograms