WHAT IS BREAST CANCER SCREENING?
Breast cancer screening is performed with a simple, non-invasive exam called a mammogram. A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray picture of the breast. Mammograms are routinely administered to detect breast cancer in women who have no apparent symptoms.
WHO SHOULD GET SCREENED?
The Ministry of Public Health recommends breast cancer screening every three years for women aged 45 and older.
No matter what your age, you should call the PHCC screening center if you are considered at risk due to family history, a prior malignant or pre-malignant occurrence of breast disease, or a genetic predisposition.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A MAMMOGRAM?
At PHCC, highly trained, experienced professionals used advanced equipment to complete your screening. Your comfort and privacy are paramount, as is your clear understanding of all aspects of the exam.
- The technologist will review your medical history and any symptoms you’ve been experiencing related to your breasts.
- In a private dressing room, you will prepare for the examination by putting on a gown.
- In the exam room, the female technologist will position you standing at the mammography machine and place your breast over the receptor.
- The machine applies moderate compression to your breast for a few seconds to obtain the clearest image. Typically, two views are taken of each breast.
- The female technologist will assess the image quality (not your health) on a computer screen in the room.
It’s that simple. You can leave immediately and resume normal activities. The radiologist will send results to your physician, who will guide you on the appropriate next steps.
If results from the mammogram are abnormal, it is important to adhere to follow-up recommendations to determine your exact health status.
An abnormal mammogram result does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer.
How should I prepare for my mammogram?
- Do not wear perfume, powder, deodorant, or lotions that contain glitter on the breast or underarm area.
- Please arrive early to your appointment. If you need to reschedule or cancel, call 24 hours in advance.
- Tell us if you are or may be pregnant or are breastfeeding.
- If you have previous mammograms and reports, bring them to your appointment.
- Let us know if you have breast implants.
- Let us know if you have had a breast biopsy.
- To minimize your discomfort, schedule your exam two to three days after the end of your period when your breasts will be less tender.
Clearer and Faster
PHCC uses digital mammography, which delivers substantial advantages to you and your doctor.
- Higher quality images than traditional film.
- Reduced number of retakes and repeat procedures.
- Less time spent in the exam room.
- Faster communication of results to your healthcare provider.
- More refined detection tools, such as computer-aided diagnosis (CAD).
- Greater accuracy, with image enhancement algorithms that make abnormalities in dense tissue more clear.