Breast Imaging Reporting and Database System Basics

To help in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, the Breast Imaging Reporting and Database System (BI-RADS) was created. This system was created by the American College of Radiology (ACR) to provide a uniform method of reporting mammogram findings to communicate effectively with other radiologists and physicians. The BI-RADS includes a numerical coding that designates the findings of a mammogram with specific follow-up procedures. The basic codes are as follows:

  • (0) This coding means the patient needs an additional imaging evaluation, meaning the results could not be categorized.
  • (1) Good news – this is a negative finding, with follow-up recommendations of regular screenings for women over 40.
  • (2) The results were benign, also good news. Follow up with regular mammogram screenings.
  • (3) Most likely the results are benign, but patient should return after six months for a follow-up mammogram.
  • (4) This result denotes a suspicious abnormality which may require a biopsy. The physician will determine the next step needed.
  • (5) The results show the high possibility of a malignancy. A biopsy is needed to confirm whether cancer is present.
  • (6) This designation is for images of a known malignancy that has been proven through biopsy. Treatment for breast cancer is to follow.

Screening and diagnostic mammograms are an essential tool in detecting and treating breast cancer. The BI-RADS helps ensure that all medical personnel involved in the patients screening and care have the same information regarding mammogram results. Keeping everyone on the same page with diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer is an important factor in improving breast cancer survival rate. If you are a woman over 40, talk with your doctor about scheduling your regular mammogram screenings with a qualified radiology clinic.

Posted on behalf of:
Diagnostic Radiology Ultrasound & Breast Center, P.C.
Mount Vernon Medical Center
755 Mount Vernon Highway Northeast #310
Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 252-3430