Microcalcifications Detected as an Abnormality on Screening Mammography: Outcomes and Followup over a Five-Year Period

Int J Breast Cancer. 2013;2013:458540. doi: 10.1155/2013/458540. Epub 2013 Oct 1.


Objectives. This study reviewed the outcome of women attending a breast screening program recalled for assessment of microcalcifications and examined the incidence of a breast carcinoma detected during the following five years in any of the women who were given a benign diagnosis at assessment. Method. A retrospective study consisted of 235 clients attending an Australian BreastScreen program in 2003, who were recalled for investigation of microcalcifications detected on screening mammography. Records for the following five years were available for 168 women in the benign outcome group including those who did not require biopsy at initial assessment. Results. Malignant disease was detected in 26.0% (n = 146) of the women who underwent biopsy. None of the women in the benign outcome group, with available five-year follow-up records, developed a subsequent breast cancer, arising from the calcifications initially recalled in 2003. Conclusions. This study highlights the effectiveness of an Australian screening program in diagnosing malignancy in women with screen detected microcalcification. This has been achieved by correctly determining 38% (n = 235) of the women as benign without the need for biopsy or early recall. A low rate of open surgical biopsies was performed with no cancer diagnoses missed at the time of initial assessment.