|Breast Microcalcifications |
|Breast MicroCalcifications | What are breast microcalcifications?|
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Breast calcifications are a medical condition wherein small calcium deposits are present within the breast tissue. In a mammogram or the visual medical testing of the breast, the calcium deposits appear in the form of small, white spots, often called flecks. Breast calcifications are usually hard-to-detect without medical examination since usually, they cannot be felt as lumps. Women who are post-menopausal are more susceptible to having breast calcifications. Most breast calcifications are regarded as non-cancerous or benign but their presence can make a woman very apprehensive since the calcifications can assume bigger proportions, often taking the form of hard-to-remove clusters.
Understanding Microcalcification & Macrocalcifications
During a mammogram-based examination, breast calcifications are further divided into two types—breast microcalcifications and breast macrocalcifications.
The difference is primarily size-based and macrocalcifications appear in the form of visible specks on the mammogram, the size similar to that of salt grains. Microcalcifications are present as smaller dots that need to be viewed with greater introspection. It should be understood that though largely regarded as non-cancerous, breast microcalcifications may be interpreted as the precursor or a pre-cancerous condition. Thus, further testing and seeking a professional medical opinion is strongly advised.
Breast macrocalcifications are bigger in size and are often attributed to some changes in the breast tissue owing to old injuries, clogged breast arteries or history of substantial inflammation in the breast tissue. Macrocalcifications are more common in women who are above the age of 50 but breast microcalcifications are reported among the younger women too. Microcalcifications don’t appear as singular deposits but slightly-shaped clusters, often in a circular pattern or in the form of thin lines. Since the core cause of microcalcification and cancerous growth is the same, i.e. abnormal/exaggerated cellular activity, there is always a risk of the condition taking a cancerous route in the future. Further, with breast cancer becoming such a prevalent condition, ignoring the presence of breast microcalcification deposits is very difficult and generally not recommended.
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