Breast Calcifications after Breast Cancer

Breast calcification after breast cancer also called dystrophic calcification. Dystrophic calcification is a name given to a specific type of breast calcification that is typically discovered on a mammogram. It is thought about a benign finding. However, the most common scenario in which one finds dystrophic calcifications is following breast cancer radiation treatments. These are calcifications which would show up on a follow up investigation, and are usually a welcome sign. They are also quite common following breast injury, consisting of surgery.

What Causes Breast Calcifications?

Calcifications can be a sign of breast cancer; however, they are mainly harmless. Here are some primary causes:

  • They might be caused by a previous injury to the breast, which causes death or damage of the tissue or fat necrosis. In this case, increased calcium deposits in the breast take place.
  • During postmenopausal, women might often experience breast calcifications due to the fact that of inflammation of the hair follicles on the breast skin, vascular calcifications in the blood vessels of the breast and in some cases even particular secretions by the cells and the cell debris.
  • Breast cysts, which are fluid-filled small sacs like lumps in the breast and existence of fibroadenomas, or solid benign growths, are other causes of calcifications.
  • Disorders like mammary duct ectasia can cause blocked or clogged milk ducts, resulting in increased inflammation in the duct lumen, triggering calcification. Mastitis or infection to the breast tissue can also lead to calcium deposits in the breast tissue.
  • Besides, even previous treatments, like radiation therapy for breast cancer, can often cause increased calcification in the breast.

Many breast calcifications are caused by benign breast changes

breast calcifications after breast cancerBreast calcifications are regularly found on breast cancer screening mammograms. They are usually formed from deposits of calcium salts in degraded or necrotic (dead) breast tissue. Calcifications are an essential sign of changes in the breast, the majority of which are benign, a few of which are more worrisome. Calcifications and micro-calcifications (smaller, and usually found ‘earlier’) are part of a breast cancer risk classification system called “BI-RADS”, which categorizes calcification based on numerous qualities. A “Dystrophic” calcification is one such classification, which approximately represents a BI-RADS category of “2”, which is a benign starting, not a sign of cancer in any method.

Characteristics of breast calcifications after breast cancer

Breast calcification after breast cancer tend to be on the large side (higher than 0.5 mm), irregular fit, and course. They also tend to be rather dense, and have lucent (shining/glossy) focuses when viewed microscopically. Dystrophic calcifications likewise tend to have smooth margins, unlike the irregular margins common in micro-calcification suggestive of malignancy.

What does a finding of ‘dystrophic calcifications’ actually indicate?

If dystrophic breast calcifications have been found on a screening mammogram, it probably suggests some other benign condition besides cancer. For women who have currently had treatments for breast cancer, dystrophic breast calcifications are to be expected, and recommend that everything is OK.

dystrophic calcifications in breast tissue frequently remain stable for many years
Big dystrophic breast calcifications usually stay stable for many years, and are typically not connected with any sort of palpable mass. Following a breast procedure, approximately 30% of women might develop dystrophic breast calcifications for as much as 4 years.

Breast dystrophic calcifications can return after radiation treatments

But, If dystrophic calcifications return following breast decrease surgery or radiation therapy in a brand-new position, this is a bit more of a concern. The BI-RADS (breast cancer risk) classification might be elevated to 3 or 4. (‘ probably benign’ to ‘somewhat suspicious for malignancy’).

Other possible causes of dystrophic calcification in breast tissue

Benign dystrophic breast calcifications might also be caused by paraffin or silicone injections from breast enhancement treatments, or may occur with dermatomyositis or as a secondary effect of hyperparathyroidism.

 

References

Updated: November 6, 2016 — 1:54 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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