Mammographic calcifications in patients with invasive breast cancer are associated with both favorable and unfavorable prognostic factors, according to a study published in Cancer.1

Researchers led by Sarah Nyante, MSPH, PhD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill looked at 8472 cases of invasive breast cancers through the Carolina Mammography Registry, which provided information on calcifications that occurred within 2 years of diagnosis.

Calcification-specific Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) assessments were prospectively reported, and tumor characteristic data as well as pathology reports were obtained from the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry.

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The presence of calcifications was positively associated with tumors that were high grade or had an in situ component. They were also inversely associated with hormone receptor-negative status and lobular tumors.

The association between an in situ component and presence of calcifications was limited to BI-RADS category 4 and 5 calcifications, with an absence in BI-RADS category 2 or 3 calcifications.


  1. Nyante SJ, Lee SS, Benefield TS, et al. The association between mammographic calcifications and breast cancer prognostic factors in a population-based registry cohort. Cancer. 2016 Sep 28. doi:10.1002/cncr.30281 [Epub ahead of print]