Mammograms and breast cancer

Breast cancer is one of the leading types of cancer in the world. It is also one of the easiest to detect on your own. But usually by the time we can feel that there is something wrong in our breast, the tumour is usually advanced and has probably been growing for some time. There are much faster and efficient ways of discovering a breast cancer tumour and here at the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex, we have a much faster and painless way of checking for breast cancer.

As an Accredited Breast Cancer Detection Centre we offer digital mammography, a fast and painless procedure with more accurate results. Even though breast cancer has a high survival rate, the earlier breast cancer is detected the more possible treatment courses are available and the better the overall prognosis becomes. As a general rule of thumb, the longer the period before detection and treatment, the more discomfort will be experienced throughout treatment. Digital mammography is capable of detecting a breast cancer lump up to two years before it can be felt.

We at the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex invite all women between the ages of 50 and 69 to take advantage of these mammograms as it is during this age period that women are most likely to develop breast cancer. Mammograms are generally done every two years and take around 15 minutes to complete. The procedure requires a technician to position your breast on a platform and gently compress it. The compression is required to make sure that no abnormalities are hidden by breast tissue that may be overlapping the abnormality. This also allows us to use a lower x-ray dose and provide a clearer, more accurate image.

We also have a few other recommendations for you to keep in mind when you arrive for your mammogram. Look into any family history as breast cancer can be passed down through genetics. To make the procedure as painless as possible we recommend not to schedule an appointment the week before your period due to increased tenderness of the breasts. Another consideration is not to consume any caffeine products a week before your mammogram. The last piece of advice we give to those having a mammogram done is not to wear any form of deodorant, antiperspirant, powders, lotions or creams under your arms or on your breasts. These things can contain metallic particles that can cause a lot of confusion when looking at the results of a mammogram.

The cost of a mammogram is covered by the RAMQ. For more information or to make an appointment please call us at 514-485-5115 and we will gladly answer any questions or work with you to find the most convenient time in your day to schedule an appointment. We are open Monday to Friday between 8:30 AM 7:30 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM.