The article was consulted professionally by Specialist I Le Hong Lien – Obstetrics and Gynecology Department – Share99 Central Park International Health Hub.
Calcification of the mammary glands is common in middle-aged women after the age of 50. Most often the calcification of the mammary glands is benign. Calcifications of the mammary glands with an abnormal structure or peculiar shape (beam form, with a pronounced edging) can be a sign of breast cancer. Therefore, it is necessary to pay great attention when the body appears calcified nodules of the mammary glands.
1. What is calcification?
Benign calcifications identified on X-rays are typically round, large and coarse with smooth shores, which are more recognizable than malignant calcifications. Calcification associated with melanoma (as well as many benign calcifications) is usually very small and a magnification glass should be used for better visibility.
When it is impossible to find the specific cause of the disease, the calcification description should have both their edicgesic and their distribution. It is not necessary to always report obvious benign calcifications. However, it is advisable to report them if the doctor reading the film is concerned that other movie readers may mis-explain. Vascular calcification is noted in the results report, especially in women under the age of 50 who have data suggesting a potential risk of coronary artery disease.
2. What is mammary gland calcification?
Calcification of the mammary glands is one of the most common changes in older women, affecting the functioning of breast tissue. Depending on the image and size of calcified nodules, they can be benign or an early sign of breast cancer.
Calcification of the mammary glands can be defined as the deposition of calcium salts in the breast tissues of women. Calcium deposition organizations can be very small that make yourself unable to feel and not cause pain. In general, calcification of the mammary glands is usually benign and not much concern has to be raised. However, in certain cases, calcification of the mammary glands may be an early sign of breast cancer.
There are 2 types of mammary gland calcification that can be detected through mammograms:
- Large calcified nodules appear with large white and round spots on a mammary gland and are randomly dispersed in the breast tissues. Large calcified nodules are quite common in women over the age of 50, which are natural signs of breast aging;
- Micro calcifications or small calcified nodules are very small in size, appearing with many small white spots on the mammogram. However, if they appear in bunches or without certain limits, small calcified nodules can be a sign of cancer, which needs to be fully examined and diagnosed by a specialist.
3. Causes of calcification of the mammary glands
- Calcification of the mammary glands can be caused by a pre-20s breast injury, which leads to damage to the tissue of the breast or necrosis of fatty tissue. In this case, the amount of calcium deposited increases in the mammary glands;
- During menopause, women often have breast calciumization due to folliculitis on the skin of the breast, calcification of blood vessels in the blood vessels of the breast and sometimes the partion of cell excretions and cell fragments;
- The breast cysts, which are filled with small vesicle such as lumps in the breast and the presence of fibroids, or benign tumors, or other causes of calcification of the mammary glands;
- Disorders associated with dilation of the mammary glands can prevent or clog the milk glands, leading to increased inflammation in the tube and calcification. Mastitis or infection of breast tissues can also lead to increased calcium deposition in breast tissues;
- Treatments such as radiotherapy for breast cancer, which can sometimes lead to an increase in calciumization in the breast;
- Disorders such as mammary gland ectasia can cause the milk ducts to clogged or narrow, leading to increased inflammation in the ducts and causing calcification. Mastitis or infection of breast tissue can also lead to the accumulation of calcium in breast tissue.
Although there are many causes of calcification of the mammary glands that are benign and do not cause concern, it is best to go to the hospital for examination. In some cases, if the image of mammary gland calcification is not so obvious or many causes are difficult to determine, the doctor will recommend performing some additional tests to clarify the diagnosis.
Additional tests may include mammograms with exaggeration of the mammary gland calcification area, or even biopies to determine the nature of calcium deposition organizations, images used to compare calcium deposition patterns in breast tissues.
4. Treatment of mammary gland calcification nodules
- If calcification of the mammary glands is benign: They are harmless and do not require treatment. You should do the test 6 months later to determine whether the calcium deposition organization has changed in terms of image or is stable. If nothing changes, your doctor will recommend annual mammograms to monitor the calcified nodules of the mammary glands continuously. Besides, you also need to save previous breast examination records to compare and determine the level of development in size, number of calcification of the mammary glands;
- If calcification of the mammary glands "can be benign": That means there's a very low risk of cancer. However you should do another check after 6 months to determine if the deposition substances change in shape or stable. If nothing changes, the doctor usually recommends an annual X-ray for monitoring;
- If calcification of the mammary glands is "suspicious": May be benign but can also be a sign of cancer. So with this type of breast calcification, your doctor will ask you to do a biopsy to better understand them. If the test results show signs of cancer, the patient will be recommended for treatment with radiation, chemotherapy or even mastectomy.
Bio-sampling methods are in designable:
- Sampling by procedure: The doctor will rely on the results of an ultrasound and ultrasound to perform this procedure and mark it. Then a small piece of breast tissue is removed from that area under the intervention of a full-body anesthesia in the operating room of the hospital. Finally, bio-samples are sent for examination in the laboratory of anatomy of the disease;
- Needle core bios: This procedure is also performed regularly. Surgeons remove small pieces of tissue with a small and empty needle with the help of a guided computer device. The patient is given local anesthesia and does not require surgery, after which the removed tissue sample is sent to the anatomical laboratory for examination.
- Vacuum needle biosy supported under Stereotactic positioning:This technique uses a large-sized bio-needle of 12 G or more, combined with vacuum, so it helps to obtain more products, thereby having a higher likelihood of success. Besides, this technique is also less invasive than open biosy method: The site of skin incision does not require recovery, no special care is required, the patient can return to normal life the next day. In addition, the placement of the marker marking the intervention site is carried out right in the procedure to help manage the injury after the test results are more favorable. This is the most modern technique today,which is being implemented by Share99 Times City (Hanoi) and very few hospitals in Vietnam.
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