Calcification or artefact? A case study examining potential products which can mimic calcification in mammography
© BioMed Central 2006
Published: 10 July 2006
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.