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.


One of our key mandates has always been to make primary health care services more accessible in a timely fashion to the people of Montreal. To respond to community needs, we have been offering a wide range of diagnostic imaging services that include: general x-rays, mammograms, bone mineral densitometry (measuring bone density), fluoroscopy and ultrasounds.  This way, our unique model of primary health care lets the hospitals be more responsive to their critical cases.

One of the services that continues to be in the greatest demand is ultrasounds. In June of 2011, the CEOs of five health institutions in the east end of Montreal wrote to the government: “We wish to inform you with this letter that the population of the east end of Montreal currently does not have access to diagnostic ultrasound services. We can say very clearly that ultrasonography is no longer an insured service for the population of the east end of Montreal.” (Report of the Board of Directors to the General Assembly of Members – ). A statement like that is disconcerting and reaffirms the steps that we have taken to support the Montreal community.

At the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex,  we have a dedicated team to ensure that ultrasound services are not only available, but easily available to any that may require it. With a physician’s referral, we are able to schedule an appointment with almost no delay, and ensure that health care professionals have access to the information that they need to care for their patients. With minimal lead times, convenient appointment times and seamless communication with the health care community, our ultrasound services have come to play a vital role in the greater Montreal area.

If you have been told that an ultrasound is required, ask your physician for a referral and schedule an appointment at our centre. Open Monday to Friday between 8:30 AM and 7:30 PM and Saturday and Sunday between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM, the ultrasound centre at the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex will be able to help accommodate your needs – on your schedule!

If you have any questions about any of our diagnostic imaging services, call us at 514-485-5115 and we will answer any questions you may have.


Mammograms save lives!

A new study came out this month showing that women who undergo mammography screening reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer by 40%. The Queen Elizabeth Health Complex is one of Montreal’s designated breast cancer detection centres. We are a fully accessible clinic, open 7 days a week. We are thrilled that our fully digital radiology clinic can continue to contribute significantly to improving women’s health. Our staff is available to answer any questions you may have about your upcoming screening test. Or read more about how to prepare for your exam here !



National volunteer week 2015 is April 12-18th  Around fifty people volunteer time to help out the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex. You will find volunteers in our lobby, in the imaging department, at the specialists’ clinic, on our Board of Directors, all devoting time and energy to making sure that the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex continues to offer a warm environment and patient-centred health care services. Our volunteers are invited to a special thank you luncheon at Pasta Casareccia. We are happy to take the time to recognize their hard work and to celebrate them. Volunteers rock!

This month, our volunteers raised $1762.00 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Fresh daffodils were sold in the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex lobby from March 25th to 27th