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Calcifications in remaining breast increase risk?

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Question from Peggy: I am 50 years old and was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer two years ago. I had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. I had negative sentinel lymph nodes and four rounds of Taxol. I took tamoxifen for one year and switched to Femara for the last year. On my recent mammogram, new benign calcifications were identified. What is my risk for tumor in my remaining breast? What are the implications of calcifications?
Answers - Lynn Hartmann In general, with no family history the risk of a cancer in the opposite breast is about 1% per year out to about a 15% risk overall. To my mind, the benign-appearing calcifications do not suggest an increase in that risk.
Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. The fact that the calcifications are new would raise a question in my mind to make sure that they have been evaluated appropriately with spot magnification views and assessment by either a second radiologist or breast surgeon to determine their nature. If there is any question that they are anything but benign, a biopsy may be indicated.

This Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Risk Reduction featured Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Lynn Hartmann answering your questions about breast cancer risk factors and ways to lower your risk.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2006.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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