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DX of diffuse punctate calcifications of left breast. Is this cancer?

By March 19, 2010 - 3:35pm
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I had a follow up mammogram and was told that there is an area of diffuse punctate calcifications and fibroglandular elements. What does this all mean? and why referral to breast specialist?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi rudnicki7

Thanks for your question and welcome!

Calcifications in the breast are fairly common and are often harmless. Punctate means they are shaped like a sphere and "diffuse" means they are scattered, rather than grouped together. They are seen as tiny dots (usually white or light gray) and sometimes these are seen, further testing is done, simply to make sure the calcifications are not cancerous or pre-cancerous. It's a precautionary and/or diagnostic measure, but is a necessary one to ensure breast health.

Fibroglandular tissue in the breast means the a layer of non-fatty (dense) tissue of the breast. This is normal. The breast is made up of fatty tissue and dense (fibroglandular) tissue.

Are you under age 45? If you are, then you may have more dense tissue than glandular, and your mammogram may be more difficult to read. This is the case with many women under 45 and certainly under 40. This may be why the subject was raised.

The reason you are being referred to a breast specialist is because the issue is with your breasts and you need someone with special education and experience to work with you - that's all. Anyone with any kind of medical question will always be referred to a specialist in that area. It is standard procedure and nothing to worry about. Your primary care physician is probably not equipped to handle issues that need a specialty or may not have the time as they deal with many patients on a daily basis.

What I suspect is that they want to make sure the dots they are seeing on your mammogram are benign, harmless calcifications- or something that needs further investigation. Either way, it's good to get it seen to as you may have a medical issue with your breast that needs attention. Please try not to stress although I very much understand your fears and they are very normal. Getting a call that your mammogram results suggest further investigation is very scary - but the sooner testing is done, the better.

Will you keep us updated as to your testing?

And please let me know if I explained things enough or if I can help you further.

March 19, 2010 - 5:39pm
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