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How does a questionable area appear on my mammogram screening?

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Areas of concern include:

  • A lump or mass with a smooth, well-defined border usually isn’t cancerous. An ultrasound can look inside the lump. If it’s filled with fluid, it’s called a cyst, and it’s usually not cancer, but your doctor might recommend a biopsy.
  • A lump that has an irregular border or a star-burst appearance raises more concern. A biopsy is usually recommended.
  • Deposits of calcium (calcifications) can be large or small, and they might or might not be cancerous. If the deposits are very small, you may need more tests and a biopsy.

From: Breast Cancer and Mammogram Results WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

WomensHealth.gov: ''Mammogram Fact Sheet.''  

Friedewald, S, , June 2014 Journal of the American Medical Association

National Cancer Institute: “Mammograms.”

BreastCancer.org “Combining 3-D and Digital Mammograms Appears to Find More Cancers With Fewer False Positives”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Breast Cancer Screening.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Breast Health.”

UpToDate: “Patient Information: Breast Cancer screening (Beyond the Basics).”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on December 17, 2017

SOURCES:

WomensHealth.gov: ''Mammogram Fact Sheet.''  

Friedewald, S, , June 2014 Journal of the American Medical Association

National Cancer Institute: “Mammograms.”

BreastCancer.org “Combining 3-D and Digital Mammograms Appears to Find More Cancers With Fewer False Positives”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Breast Cancer Screening.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Breast Health.”

UpToDate: “Patient Information: Breast Cancer screening (Beyond the Basics).”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on December 17, 2017

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How well do mammograms work when screening for breast cancer?

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