Gross dystrophic calcification of the breast following radiotherapy

Case contributed by Chris O'Donnell


Rock hard (literally) right breast following excision and radiotherapy for carcinoma breast over 20 years ago

Patient Data

Age: 50
Gender: Female

Current examination


Gross confluent coarse calcification in the right breast.  Note surgical clips in the right axilla.

Previous examination 10 years prior


Less marked coarse calcification in the right breast.  Note the surgical clip in the midst of this calcium laterally on the CC projection.  Left breast parenchyma is fatty.

Case Discussion

Dystrophic calcification is a well recognized complication of breast radiotherapy but this is a grossly exaggerated case.  Note how it has continued to progress even after 20 years.  The calcification caused considerable difficulty in performing mammography as the dose required to attain a diagnostic image exceeded the recommended/automatic settings requiring a manual exposure calculated by the technologist.

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