Mammogram Reports and BI-RADS: Category 2

Mammogram Reports and BI-RADS: Category 2

As a continuation of yesterday’s post on BI-RADS Category 1, today we’d like to talk about BI-RADS Category 2. Remember that BIRADS stands for Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System, which is simply a tool developed by the American College of Radiology to simplify breast imaging reports and their recommendations. It breaks results down into seven possible categories, from Zero to Six. So, on to BIRADS 2 – Benign findings.


A BI-RADS category 2 at the end of your report means that the mammogram, breast ultrasound and/or MRI breast show benign findings, not suspicious findings for cancer. With a final report of BI-RADS category 2, you can continue to go for normal, annual screenings if you are of average risk and over the age of 40.


In this category, your radiologist sees a nonworrisome finding, something other than normal tissue, within your breasts. Examples of some of these benign changes include stable asymmetric tissue, cysts and benign calcifications. Additional conditions that may place you in category 2 include breast surgeries of any kind, from implants to reductions, and post-biopsy changes.


It is incredibly helpful to have comparison studies from prior exams to confirm that breast imaging findings are benign. For instance, knowing that calcifications haven’t changed in size or number on follow up mammograms is reassuring to your radiologist. Radiologists rely on prior breast studies to help with evaluating your mammogram and knowing when findings are benign.


We have covered a variety of benign breast findings in prior blog posts. There are a few examples to take the point home. Below you will find examples of category 2 images from a mammogram, an MRI, and breast ultrasound. The mammogram below shows a cyst as a round white spot.


A breast ultrasound might show cysts, stable solid nodules, lymph nodes, and all of these would be considered category 2. Below is an image of a cyst on breast ultrasound with the oval black spot being the cyst.


A breast MRI may show cysts or benign changes in enhancement from hormones. The image below from a breast MRI shows a small breast cyst as an oval white spot.


Now we hope you have an understanding of what exactly BI-RADS means and what a category 2 result tells you and your doctor. Stay tuned for an explanation of category 3 and more breast imaging examples.

Originally published 7/10/13 on