Milk of calcium within a breast cyst

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 06 Mar 2020

Milk of calcium within a breast cyst is a mammographic feature observed when there is dependent calcium layering within breast cysts. It is typically observed as "tea cup" or "crescent shaped" calcifications on a true lateral (LM or ML) view on occasionally on a MLO view. On a CC view, these calcifications can appear smudged due to being viewed en face. The presence of milk of calcium is in a vast majority of cases, a very reassuring feature for benign breast disease. 

Entities in which this feature could be observed include:

  • craniocaudal (CC) view: round/smudged microcalcification
  • mediolateral oblique view (MLO): linear
  • mediolateral (ML) view: heavier calcium sediments layer in the bases of microcysts-meniscoid appearance

If milk of calcium is superimposed with more pleomorphic microcalcifications (a very rare situation), consider apocrine carcinoma of the breast 1.

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