ZocdocAnswersWhat are amorphous calcifications?

Question

What are amorphous calcifications?

I had a mammogram last week and the results showed what the doctors called an 'amorphous calcification', which they also called suspicious and are doing a biopsy for. What is an amorphous calcification? What are the chances that this (whatever it is) will turn out to be breast cancer?

Answer

This is an example of how we as physicians need to do a better job of communicating the results of tests that we order. In this case an amorphous calcification is just an "unformed" deposit of calcium, one of the findings on mammography which can be suspicious for a breast tumor. Mammograms are ordered to look for evidence of breast cancer in hopes to catch it before it grows into a dangerous tumor. They can detect small tumors occasionally, but they often rely small calcifications that show up on the x-ray. Calcifications can occur because of an old injury to the tissue, a problem with calcium metabolism, or as a result of tumor in the area. This may be why your doctor called the area with calcifications "suspicious." The next step when a suspicious area is found is to perform a biopsy. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your doctor that ordered the biopsy prior to getting the biopsy. This way you can discuss what your doctor is thinking this area of calcification is. You can go through the process of the diagnostic work up so that there are no surprises along the way. More than likely, your doctor is doing to biopsy to rule out a breast tumor. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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