Casting-type calcifications on the mammogram suggest a higher probability of early relapse and death among high-risk breast cancer patients

Author(s): Palka I, Ormándi K, Gaál S, Boda K, Kahán Z


Introduction: A retrospective analysis of the relation between the presence of casting-type calcifications on the mammogram and the prognosis of breast cancer was performed.

Materials and methods: The mammographic tumor features and other characteristics (invasive tumor size, histological tumor type, grade, nodal, hormone receptor and HER2 status, presence of lymphovascular invasion) of 55 high-risk breast cancers were studied.

Results: After a median follow-up time of 29.1 months, the median relapse-free survival and overall survival times among breast cancer patients with tumors associated with casting calcifications were 26.6 and 29.6 months, respectively. The corresponding parameters among patients with tumors not accompanied by casting calcifications were 54.4 and > 58.5 months, respectively. Significant associations were found between the presence of casting calcifications and the risks of relapse (HR = 3.048, 95% CI: 1.116-8.323, p = 0.030) or death (HR = 3.504, 95% CI: 1.074-11.427, p = 0.038). Positive associations were found between casting calcifications and ER/PR negativity (p = 0.015 and p = 0.003, respectively) and HER2 overexpression (p = 0.019).

Discussion: Our findings support the theory that breast tumors associated with casting-type calcifications at mammography comprise a disease entity which exhibits significantly more aggressive behavior and a poorer outcome than do cancers with other mammographic tumor features.

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