Microcalcifications are tiny deposits of calcium salts that are too small to be felt but can be detected by imaging.[1] They can be scattered throughout the mammary gland, or occur in clusters. Microcalcifications can be an early sign of breast cancer. Based on morphology, it is possible to classify by radiography how likely microcalcifications are to indicate cancer. [2]

Mammogram microcalcifications in ductal carcinoma in situ

Microcalcifications are made up of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate. The mechanism of their formation is not known.[3]

Microcalcification was first described in 1913 by surgeon Albert Salomon.[3]


  1. ^ "NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms". National Cancer Institute. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  2. ^ Nalawade, Yojana V (November 2009). "Evaluation of breast calcifications". The Indian Journal of Radiology & Imaging. 19 (4): 282–286. doi:10.4103/0971-3026.57208. ISSN 0971-3026. PMC 2797739. PMID 19881103.
  3. ^ a b Wilkinson, Louise; Thomas, Val; Sharma, Nisha (2016). "Microcalcification on mammography: approaches to interpretation and biopsy". The British Journal of Radiology. 90 (1069): 20160594. doi:10.1259/bjr.20160594. ISSN 0007-1285. PMC 5605030. PMID 27648482.