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Breast calcium deposits, which are made up of clusters of calcium phosphate crystals and collagen, may form for a variety of reasons. They may be related to damage in the breast tissue, which can result from inflammation or injury, or simply be a part of the aging process. Growths in the breasts like cysts or fibroadenomas, as well as the cancerous cells of ductal carcinoma in situ, may cause calcium deposits. Problems that lead to blockages in the milk ducts, like mammary duct ecstasia or mastitis, may also be to blame.
When breast tissue becomes damaged, there is a greater chance that breast calcium deposits will develop there. Women who have had a physical injury or damage to one or both breasts, such as a blunt force trauma, may tend to get them. Breast surgery, in which incisions are made in the breast tissue that require stitches, can also promote calcifications. Those who have undergone treatment for breast cancer and needed to have radiation therapy are sometimes prone to calcium deposits. Older women, particularly those who have already gone through menopause, often tend to develop them as their breast tissue degenerates.
Another common cause of breast calcium deposits are abnormal growths in the breasts. Calcifications may tend to form around cysts, which are benign, fluid-filled sacs that can form. Tumors known as fibroadenomas, which are solid, non-cancerous lumps in the breasts, can also trigger their development. Another type of growth that can lead to calcium deposits is ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, which is a very early form of breast cancer that occurs in the milk ducts. Breast implants or other foreign bodies in the breasts may also lead to calcifications in the nearby tissue.
Issues that affect the milk ducts are frequently the cause of breast calcium deposits, particularly if the ducts become blocked and fluid accumulates. Ducts under the nipples can dilate and thicken, causing fluid buildup, a condition known as mammary duct ecstasia and a common trigger of calcium deposits. Sometimes ducts become blocked by milk when women are first breastfeeding their newborns, and those blockages can lead to an infection known as mastitis, another frequent underlying cause of calcifications. If the ducts become blocked by growths, cysts, or other foreign bodies, the same result can occur.