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First-aid Answers: Mammograms

Q: I finally had my first mammogram, and it showed I have calcium deposits in my breasts. Should I be concerned?

A: Calcium deposits in the breast are fairly common, and many women have at least one that shows on a mammogram. Most are not associated with cancer and may be caused by a cyst; a dilated milk duct; previous injury to the breast; inflammation caused by an infection like mastitis (a milk-duct infection); radiation therapy; calcifications in the arteries; or calcifications on the skin caused by residue from powders, ointments and lotions. If the deposits appear in very tight clusters with an irregular shape, your doctor may want to follow up with another mammogram or biopsy to rule out any cancer concern.