What is included in mammogram reporting?

Updated: Jan 31, 2017
  • Author: Muhammad Neaman Siddique, MBBS; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Answer

Mammogram identifies abnormal breast tissue as asymmetry, architectural distortion, and calcifications. Calcifications may represent benign or malignant lesions. Linear and branching calcifications have a higher predictive value for malignancy as compared to granular. The most specific mammographic feature of malignancy, however, is a spiculated soft tissue mass; nearly 90% of these lesions represent invasive cancer.

Clustered microcalcifications (calcium particles 0.1-1mm in diameter and numbering more than 4-5 per cubic centimeter) are found in about 60% of mammographically detected cancers. Skin thickening, increased breast density, and coarsening of stroma may be detected in patients with inflammatory breast cancer. Smooth round or oval calcifications, rim-like calcifications, large coarse calcifications, vascular calcifications, cigar or rod-shaped calcifications, multiple coarse "popcorn" calcifications are all considered benign.

Screening mammogram depicts malignant ductal-type Screening mammogram depicts malignant ductal-type microcalcifications.
Image shows a malignant-type lesion: an invasive d Image shows a malignant-type lesion: an invasive ductal carcinoma. This stellate (spiculated) lesion has ductal-type microcalcifications.
Image shows a benign lesion: a fibroadenoma with w Image shows a benign lesion: a fibroadenoma with well-defined edges and a halo sign.
Benign microcalcifications: cystic hyperplasia. Benign microcalcifications: cystic hyperplasia.
Breast cancer, mammography. Bilateral mammogram sh Breast cancer, mammography. Bilateral mammogram shows diffuse inflammatory carcinoma of the left breast.

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