Clustered microcalcification in the breast: a prospective study

B. B. Muir (Lead / Corresponding author), T. J. Anderson, J. Lamb, P. T. Donnan, A. E. Kirkpatrick

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127 women attending the Edinburgh Breast Screening Centre were found to have small clusters of microcalcifications (maximum diameter 1 cm) of a potentially malignant nature. Using criteria previously postulated,1 they were classified into three groups: uniform localised, non-uniform widespread, and non-uniform localised, using hand-held magnification. In each group, the risk of malignancy was assessed in the short and long-term. The cancer detection rate of the uniform localised calcification, 67 women, 16 (24%) biopsied, was 0% immediately and 1.5% when a further biopsy was carried out after 2 years. For non-uniform widespread calcification, the cancer detection rate, 49 women, 31 (63%) biopsied, was 6 (12%) immediately and 8 (16%) when a further 3 biopsies were carried out up to 2 years later. The cancer detection rate of non-uniform localised calcifications, 11 women, all biopsied, was 7 (64%). The use of this classification of microcalcification provided a significant predictor for identification of breast cancer (p<0.001). Conventional risk factors were also examined, but none markedly improved discrimination with only family history approaching statistical significance (p = 0.09). The utility of the method in the screening situation is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalThe Breast
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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