Mammogram Results: Breast Imaging Reporting and Database System (BI-RADS)

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Radiologists in the United States and some other countries use the Breast Imaging Reporting and Database System, or BI-RADS, to report the findings of mammograms. The American College of Radiology (ACR) created this system to provide one way for all radiologists to categorize their findings and create a follow-up action plan. Talk to your doctor about what category your result falls into and what follow-up plan he or she recommends.

Breast Imaging Reporting and Database System (BI-RADS)

Category Assessment Follow-up
0 Need additional imaging evaluation: means that more studies are necessary to gather more information. Additional imaging needed before a category can be assigned.
1 Negative: means that there is no significant or noticeable abnormality to report. Continue annual screening mammography (for women over age 40).
2 Benign (noncancerous) finding: means that there has been a finding, such as benign calcifications or fibroadenoma, which is not cancerous. Continue annual screening mammography (for women over age 40).
3 Probably benign: means that there is a finding that is most likely benign, but should be followed in a shorter period of time to see if the area of concern changes. Receive a 6-month follow-up mammogram.
4 Suspicious abnormality: means that there are suspicious findings that could turn out to be cancer. May require biopsy.
5 Highly suggestive of malignancy (cancer): means that there are findings that look like and probably are cancer. Requires biopsy.
6 Known biopsy-proven malignancy (cancer): means that any findings on the mammogram have already proven to be cancer through a biopsy. Biopsy confirms presence of cancer before treatment begins.

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