Mammography uses a low-dose x-ray to examine breast tissue, and plays an important role in the early detection of breast cancer. A mammogram can find changes in the tissue of the breast that are often too small before a patient or physician can feel a lump.
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) recommends women ages 50 to 69 have a mammogram every 2 years. The CCS also recommends that women ages 40 to 49 and women age 70 or older talk to their doctors about their risk for breast cancer and the risks and benefits of mammograms
If you are due for your routine screening mammogram, in some scenarios you can do a “self referral.” This saves you the step of visiting your Doctor to get a requisition form. To do a self referral you must meet certain criteria, so please call us if you want more information about self referrals.
If you have any concerns with your breasts, please speak to your Doctor.
A technologist will explain the mammography procedure to you, and ask a few questions regarding your breast history. Once undressed, your breasts will then be put, one at a time, between two special plates and compressed (pressed down) between the plates by the x-ray machine for a few seconds, while low dose x-ray images are taken. Two views of each breast are performed as a minimum.
The mammography and the compression are performed by a specially trained radiographer. While the compression may be uncomfortable and perhaps painful it lasts only seconds. Compression allows the tissues of the spread to spread out enabling bettering imaging of the tissue.
DO NOT wear deodorant, lotion, or body powder the day of the exam. If you have premenstrual tenderness in your breasts, it is advisable to schedule your appointment after it has subsided.