When you receive the results of a routine mammogram, it is normal to be startled if you see in the report the term "breast calcification", or something similar. But know that it is important not to worry too soon, because the condition is benign in most cases.The process can lead to calcifications", explains Fernando Pontes, a mastologist at the Mantelli clinic.
Even though most breast stones are harmless to your health, it is worth paying attention to some changes in the mammogram. Learn more about them below!
See also: Losing weight after 50 may lower breast cancer risk
What is breast calcification?
The calculi that develop in breast tissue are nothing more than small agglomerations of calcium. They vary in size from microgranules to small stones up to 2 cm in diameter. At first, the calcifications can be multiple and scattered along the inside of the breasts.
What are the symptoms?
The typically benign calcification does not trigger any discomfort. Moreover, they are imperceptible to the touch and only detected in a mammogram examination. However, if symptoms such as itching in the breasts, changes in the skin of the breasts and nipples, pain to the touch and indisposition appear, talk to your doctor to investigate the condition. After all, they are all signs of possible breast cancer.
Causes of breast calcification
According to Peres, the situation is natural to aging. As said by the specialist, the breasts change with the passing of the years, and calcification can be an effect of this.
"The most effective way to identify the calculus in the breasts is through mammography. Hardly ultrasound or MRI can map the calcification. Therefore, it is essential that the woman does routine exams according to the doctor's recommendation", states Peres. "There are three types of diagnosis: the typically benign calcifications, which are not harmful; the suspicious ones, which require biopsy;and those highly suspicious for malignancy, which indicate breast cancer," continues the mastologist.
Treatment of breast calcification
It will depend on the type of calculus. in the case of the typically benign, there is no need for treatment, only periodic monitoring, as indicated by the doctor. but the suspicious cases need a mammotomy to confirm or rule out breast cancer. "guided by mammography, mammotomy is a laboratory exam in which we take a sample of the injured tissue or calculus to analyze ifthere are malignant cells," teaches Peres.
If the result is positive for breast cancer, the treatment includes the removal of the affected breast quadrant or the whole breast. This decision is related to the severity, in order to avoid the recurrence of the disease. Therefore, talk to your doctor about the situation and clarify all your doubts. Besides surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be part of the care against the disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can calcification of the breasts be prevented?
Because it is linked to aging, it is not possible to perform treatments or predict whether you will develop the stones. However, it is desirable to repeat routine breast exams every six months - especially after the age of 50 or even earlier if the doctor deems it valid.
Can all calcification be a risk or the cancer itself?
This is a very frequent doubt. but Peres claims that not all calcification will become a cancer, although most breast cancers start with calcifications.invasive", he concludes.
Can self-examination detect calcification?
Although it is extremely useful to notice abnormal lumps in the breasts, palpating them is not enough. After all, most of the stones are too small and imperceptible to the touch. Few women are able to notice the foreign body "manually".
Source: Fernando Pontes, mastologist and breast oncoplastic surgeon at the Mantelli Clinic - CRM 134871.