One study found that suspicious calcifications that require further testing are malignancy between 12 and 40 percent of the time. Meanwhile, other studies say that many of these cases are probably false positives, where a suspected cancer diagnosis is later determined to be benign. To avoid misdiagnosis, research is being done to advance cancer detection systems.
What are calcifications in the breast?
Calcium deposits that form in breast tissue are referred to as breast calcifications. They frequently appear on standard mammography and are common. Breast calcifications, though typically benign (noncancerous), can indicate a higher risk of breast cancer. Regular mammograms can find precancerous alterations, allowing for early treatment.
What causes breast calcifications?
Although there are a number of plausible hypotheses, researchers are unsure what causes calcifications. As a result of several processes that influence your breast tissue, calcium deposits develop. These conditions are linked to benign breast calcifications, according to Cleveland Clinic:
- Aging arteries in the breast
- Benign breast lumps
- Breast cysts
- Breast injury
- Breast infections
- Mammary duct ectasia
- Previous breast cancer treatment
- Previous breast surgery
What type of biopsy is done for breast calcifications?
A biopsy is frequently required to ascertain the underlying etiology of calcium deposits. A small piece of breast tissue is removed during a minimally invasive technique called a biopsy in order for a pathologist to examine it for symptoms of the disease.
- Stereotactic biopsy – Your doctor will conduct this biopsy during the test, which uses mammography images to direct the biopsy.
- Core needle biopsy – To evaluate the area, little bits of breast tissue are taken from the calcifications.
What are the symptoms of untreated breast calcifications?
Breast calcifications often don’t manifest any symptoms. They are merely unexpected discoveries made during mammography.
However, consult your doctor if you experience odd breast symptoms, such as an infection or cancer, that may point to a more serious problem. These signs consist of:
- A lump
What are punctate and amorphous calcifications in the breast?
Breast calcifications that are small and/or cloudy enough not to have a recognizable shape or form are called amorphous, also known as indistinct calcifications.
On the other hand, punctate microcalcifications refer to calcific opacities that are visible inside the acini of a terminal ductal lobular unit and are less than 0.5 mm in diameter.
How are cancerous breast calcifications treated?
A small sample of the calcified breast tissue is taken during a biopsy and submitted to a lab to be checked for cancer cells. If cancer cells are found, there are various treatment options to remove them:
- Surgery to remove the malignant breast
- Targeted drug therapy
- Radiation therapy
What are some natural treatments for breast calcifications?
Using plants and herbs as food and medicine date back thousands of years. A study has listed some herbs that are commonly used globally for the treatment of cancerous breast calcifications. The research discusses various plant species that still possess immune-stimulating and anti-tumor effects.
- Green tea
- Flax seed
- Black cohosh
- Vitamin D