Findings on a Mammogram and Mammogram Results

In 2019, the U.S. Congress passed national breast density legislation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates mammography centers, is developing regulations for notification.

Regular mammograms are an important part of breast health. It’s good to be familiar with how the images look in case a healthcare provider shows one to you.

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Density has four grades, that are determined by the amount of fibrous and glandular tissue in the breast.

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Duct ectasia

Some common benign breast conditions, such as cysts and fibroadenomas, may show up on mammograms as round or oval patches with distinct borders. These changes are not concerning for cancer, and these findings are not abnormal.

Dense breast tissue can make abnormal findings hard to see on a mammogram. Screening tools are under study for women with dense breasts.

Read on to see some images of what mammograms may look like, and what reports you might read.

Findings on a Mammogram and Mammogram Results

Fibroadenomas are common and thought to be related to the female hormone estrogen. Hormone levels are higher when we are young, pregnant, breast feeding or taking hormone replacement. Although they can appear at any age, they are more likely when aged 15-40 years.

Some centers give you the results of your mammogram at the time of your screening. With others, it may take up to 2 weeks to get your results.

Image C: 51 to 75 % of the breast is made up of fibrous and glandular tissue. Sometimes described as moderate density. About 4 in 10 women have this.

Normal and Abnormal Mammogram Images

Mammogram images: Normal, abnormal, and breast cancer

What this means

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Calcifications and microcalcifications

Calcifications that are labelled “indeterminate” need further investigation to exclude cancer. This might involve extra magnified mammography views or in some cases a biopsy. Calcifications that are clearly benign don’t require any further investigation or treatment.

Fibromas are found in the breast lobule, which is the part of the breast that produces milk. Lobules are made up of glands (that hold the milk), ducts (where the milk travels out of the breast) and fibrous tissue (that holds the breast shape). Fibroadenomas occurs when are tissue in the lobule overgrows and becomes hard.

Things seen on mammogram

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Although this may seem helpful, there are no special screening guidelines for women with dense breasts. However, your health care provider may suggest other breast imaging in addition to regular mammograms.

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Screening tests under study for women with dense breasts

This also a negative result, but to be complete it’s noted there are findings that appear benign (not suspicious), such as a cyst.

Assessment is incomplete

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