Breast calcifications are small areas of calcium in the breast. They can't be felt and usually show up on a breast x ray (mammogram). Calcifications are very common, and in most cases they are harmless. There are two types:
These are coarse calcium deposits in the breast. They look like large white dots or dashes on a mammogram. Macrocalcifications are a natural result of breast ageing and are harmless. They are not linked with cancer and don't need any treatment or checking.
They are found in about half of all women over the age of 50, and in about 1 in 10 (10%) of younger women. They may be caused by calcium deposits in a cyst or in milk ducts as women get older, or as a result of previous injuries or inflammation. Calcium in the diet does not cause calcifications to form.
These are tiny calcium deposits that show up as fine white specks on a mammogram. They are usually found in an area of the breast where cells are being replaced more quickly than normal. Microcalcifications are not usually due to cancer. But sometimes a group of microcalcifications seen together in one area (a cluster) may be a sign of pre-cancerous changes or early breast cancer.