ZocdocAnswersWhat is crystallized scar tissue?

Question

What is crystallized scar tissue?

I am 39 years old and recently went in for a mammogram. They found a suspicious area, and after testing it more thoroughly said it was nothing to worry about, that it was just 'crystallized scar tissue'. This is not a relief to me - what is that? Why do I have scar tissue in my breast?

Answer

First of all, mammograms in people uder 40 years of age are often quite difficult because the breasts are very dense and difficult for the scans to see through. Therefore, it is not routine to get mammograms at this age unless you are very high risk due to family history. What your doctor described as a 'crystallized' scar tissue is an area of calcification. Calcium settles into tissues that are scars and gives them a crystallized appears. This is a normal part of scarring in many areas of the body. Probably the scarring is from fibrocystic breast changes, which result when the normal milk producing tissue in the breast swells and dies off with each menstrual cycle. This is normal, but is some women causes a small amount of inflammation and minor internal scarring. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor might be indicated.

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