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Mammographic mass detection is an important task for the early diagnosis of breast cancer. However, it is difficult to distinguish masses from normal regions because of their abundant morphological characteristics and ambiguous margins. To improve the mass detection performance, it is essential to effectively preprocess mammogram to preserve both the intensity distribution and morphological characteristics of regions. In this paper, morphological component analysis is first introduced to decompose a mammogram into a piecewise-smooth component and a texture component. The former is utilized in our detection scheme as it effectively suppresses both structural noises and effects of blood vessels. Then, we propose two novel concentric layer criteria to detect different types of suspicious regions in a mammogram. The combination is evaluated based on the Digital Database for Screening Mammography, where 100 malignant cases and 50 benign cases are utilized. The sensitivity of the proposed scheme is 99% in malignant, 88% in benign, and 95.3% in all types of cases. The results show that the proposed detection scheme achieves satisfactory detection performance and preferable compromises between sensitivity and false positive rates.