Sometimes calcifications indicate breast cancer, such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), but most calcifications result from noncancerous (benign) conditions.

Possible causes of breast calcifications include:

  1. Breast cancer
  2. Breast cysts
  3. Cell secretions or debris
  4. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
  5. Fibroadenoma
  6. Mammary duct ectasia
  7. Previous injury or surgery to the breast (fat necrosis)
  8. Previous radiation therapy for cancer
  9. Skin (dermal) or blood vessel (vascular) calcification

Products that contain radiopaque materials or metals, such as deodorants, creams or powders, may mimic calcifications on a mammogram, making it more difficult to interpret whether the calcifications are due to benign or cancerous changes. Because of this, skin products of any kind should not be worn during a mammogram.

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

March 16, 2023