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Volume 8 Supplement 1

Symposium Mammographicum 2006

Open Access

Calcification or artefact? A case study examining potential products which can mimic calcification in mammography

  • A Andersen1,
  • N Etheridge1,
  • S Harridge1 and
  • S Llewelyn1
Breast Cancer Research20068(Suppl 1):P39

Published: 10 July 2006


Cancer ResearchPotential ProblemTalcSkin SurfacePotential Product

This poster is a case presentation of a woman who was recalled from breast screening with suspicious microcalcifications. Follow-up mammograms revealed that it had been an artefact on the skin surface. The cause of this artefact was unknown and this poster attempts to identify a product that may have caused this calcific-like artefact.

Previous research [1, 2] highlights the potential problems associated with the use of deodorants and antiperspirants on mammographic interpretation. These studies demonstrate the association of the use of underarm deodorants with calcific-like artefacts. This poster not only examines deodorant as a possible source of the artefact, but also identifies other products as probable causes. Five products in total were used: stick deodorant, talc, body scrub, paint and body glitter. Samples of each of these were individually X-rayed using an anthropomorphic breast phantom.

The subsequent films were compared with the original X-ray and one of the products was identified as the most probable cause of the artefact. As a result of this research, products not previously considered as potential causes of artefacts were identified. Our results are presented in a light-hearted format.

Authors’ Affiliations

Jarvis National Breast Screening, Training and Diagnostic Centre, Guildford, UK


  1. Young , et al: 2002Google Scholar
  2. Barton : 1990Google Scholar


© BioMed Central 2006