Findings on a Mammogram and Mammogram Results

Image D: The breast tissue is extremely dense, with 75% or more fibrous and glandular tissue. About 1 in 10 women has this.

On a mammogram, DCIS usually looks like a cluster of microcalcifications. It can be hard to know from a mammogram whether the cluster is DCIS or invasive breast cancer. A cluster of microcalcifications can also be a benign (not cancer) finding on a mammogram.

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Things seen on mammogram

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Radial scars are not scarring – they are areas of hardened breast tissue with surrounding abnormal ducts and tissue structures. This mammogram image shows the arrow pointing to a bicycle spoke pattern. Most radial scars will never be felt as a lump. They are usually found on mammogram imaging, however they look similar to cancer, so need to be tested. A core biopsy is taken which involves taking a sample from the center of the radial scar. Removing the scar with surgery is often recommended to make sure the surrounding tissue is normal.

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Intraductal papilloma (papillary neoplasm)

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

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

Findings on a Mammogram and Mammogram Results

Mammogram images: Normal, abnormal, and breast cancer

Images used with permission of the American College of Radiology (

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Dense breast tissue

A referral to a breast surgeon is required for further investigation.

Image B: 25 to 50 % of the breast is made up of fibrous and glandular tissue. About 4 in 10 women have this.

Normal and Abnormal Mammogram Images

Mammograms Showing Breast Cancer

6: Known biopsy-proven malignancy – appropriate action should be taken

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Invasive breast cancer

Most women will have their first mammogram around the age of 40, and this can serve as a good baseline from which to compare your images in the future. Women with breast cancer risk factors may start screening earlier.

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.

Young women, especially those who have not had children, usually have dense and rather firm breast tissue. Mammogram images like these can be difficult for a radiologist to read because there is less differentiation between normal and possibly abnormal tissue, potentially hiding areas that need closer study.

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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.

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Duct ectasia

If you don’t get your results within 2 weeks, contact your health care provider or the mammography center.

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.

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