Non-Calcified Breast Particles A Possible New Marker of Breast Cancer

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Malignant and benign human breast tissue containing radiographic evidence of calcifications were studied by means of scanning electron microscopy and x-ray microanalysis. In addition to the well-known calcium-phosphorus deposits, discrete particles containing calcium with little or no phosphorus and calcium in combination with other elements were found. Moreover, particles containing elements other than calcium were observed. These include Al, Fe, Mg, Si, Cu, Zn, Cr, Ti, Ni, Pb, Au, Ag, Mo, Cl, I. Some of these “noncalcifications” contained a single element, others a combination of elements. These findings differ from the view that all breast particles are calcifications. Further study could lead to the development of new diagnostic techniques for the detection of breast cancer and/or chemotherapeutic agents.

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