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Atlas of breast cancer early detection

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Case number:170
Clinical presentation:Postmenopausal woman with history of left breast cancer and who had undergone left MRM is on annual surveillance. She also has high family risk because of breast carcinoma in a maternal cousin. On examination, no abnormality was detected in the right breast.


Breast composition:ACR category a (the breasts are almost entirely fatty)
Mammography features:

 ‣ Location of the lesion:Right breast, all quadrants, all zones, typically benign rod-like calcifications in diffuse distribution radiating towards the nipple
 ‣ Mass:
   • Number:0
   • Size:No mass
   • Shape:None
   • Margins:None
   • Density:None
 ‣ Calcifications:
   • Typically benign:Large rod-like
   • Suspicious:None
   • Distribution:Diffuse
 ‣ Architectural distortion:None
 ‣ Asymmetry:None
 ‣ Intramammary node:None
 ‣ Skin lesion:None
 ‣ Solitary dilated duct:None
 ‣ Associated features:None


BI-RADS Category: 2 (benign)

Case summary:

Postmenopausal woman who had undergone surgery for left breast cancer presented for annual surveillance. Diagnosed as typically benign plasma cell mastitis calcifications in right breast, BI-RADS 2 on imaging.

Learning points:

  • Large rod-like calcifications are seen as continuous rods branching in ductal distribution, radiating towards the nipple. They are benign calcifications, formed within ectatic ducts. The calcified streaks are thick, usually > 1 mm in diameter and with sharp margins. They are most often seen in women older than 60 years.

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