Forbidden areas in mammography

In breast imaging, forbidden, check or review areas are zones that, according to Tabár, require special attention in mammographic interpretation. 

These are:

  • on a mediolateral oblique (MLO) view
    • the "milky way" (retromammary fat): a 3-4 cm wide band parallel to the edge of the pectoral muscle
    • retroareolar space
  • on a craniocaudal (CC) view
    • the medial half of the breast 
    • "No man's land" is the retroglandular clear space between the posterior border of the breast parenchyma and the chest wall on any view, especially on the CC view.

The definition "forbidden areas" is based on the incidence and distribution of cancer or de novo cancers identified in screening, demonstrating clusters located in the tail and in the inframammary fold on the MLO view, and in the tail, centrally and in the medial portions of the breast on the CC view. This warrants neutral radiographic position (no medial or lateral rotation).

Breast imaging and pathology
Share article

Article information

rID: 15344
System: Breast
Section: Approach
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Review areas
  • Forbidden areas
  • Forbidden areas in a mammogram
  • Check area
  • Check areas in a mammogram
  • Review areas in a mammogram
  • Forbidden areas in mammograms
  • Forbidden area in a mammogram
  • Check areas in mammograms
  • Check areas in mammography
  • Check area in mammography
  • Review area in a mammogram
  • Review areas in mammography
  • Review area in mammography
  • Review area in mammograms
  • Check areas
  • Review area
  • Forbidden area

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Case 1: lesion in retromammary fat
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 2: retroareolar cancer
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.