What is BI-RADS? BI-RADS is a system that was developed by radiologists for reporting mammogram results using a common language. The radiologist assigns a single digit BI-RADS score (ranging from 0 to 5) when the report of your mammogram is created.
What does BI-RADS 0 mean? BI-RADS 0 identifies a mammogram study that is not yet complete. You need to make sure that further evaluation is completed, perhaps extra mammography views or an ultrasound. Further information is needed to make a final assessment (codes 1 to 5).
What does BI-RADS 1 mean? BI-RADS 1 means that the mammogram was negative (ie, no cancer) and that you should continue your routine screening.
What does BI-RADS 2 mean? BI-RADS 2 also means that your mammogram was normal (ie, no cancer), but other findings (eg, cysts) are described in the report. You should continue your routine screening.
What does BI-RADS 3 mean? BI-RADS 3 means that your mammogram is probably normal but a repeat mammogram should be completed in 6 months. The chance of breast cancer is approximately 2% in this category. You should make sure that these follow-up mammograms are completed as requested.
What does BI-RADS 4 mean? BI-RADS 4 means that the findings on your mammogram are suspicious and that there is approximately a 23% to 34% chance that this is breast cancer. You will need a biopsy to get a small tissue sample to make a diagnosis. Talk to your doctors about any questions.
What is a biopsy? Biopsy is done to obtain a piece of the breast tissue to determine whether there is cancer. The biopsy may be done using a needle technique (a "needle biopsy") or may require a surgical operation (a "surgical biopsy"). When a needle biopsy is an option, it is usually preferred.
What does BI-RADS 5 mean? BI-RADS 5 means that your mammogram results are highly suspicious with a 95% chance of breast cancer. You will need to have a biopsy for diagnosis. Talk to your doctors about what course of action to take.
What does BI-RADS 6 mean? BI-RADS 6 means that you have already been diagnosed with breast cancer. Discuss your treatment plan with your doctors.
Why do I need to know my BI-RADS score? Knowing your BI-RADS number can help to make sure that you get proper follow-up after your mammogram. It is a good thing for you to know that score so you can keep track, along with your physician, of what you need to do and actively participate in your medical care.
Corresponding author: Margaret M. Eberl, MD, MPH, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263 ( Margaret.Eberl@RoswellPark.org )
J Am Board Fam Med. 2006;19(2):161-164. © 2006 American Board of Family Medicine
Cite this: BI-RADS Classification for Management of Abnormal Mammograms - Medscape - Mar 01, 2006.