DIAGNOSTIC TESTS

Mammogram & OBSP

A mammogram is a low dose X-ray that plays an essential role in the early detection and screening of breast cancer.

Get the Facts. Get Screened.

  • A mammogram detects breast cancers when they are small, less likely to have metastasized to the lymphnodes, and more likely to be successfully treated with surgery and without chemotherapy.
  • More than 80% of breast cancers are found in women over the age of 50.
  • Even if you feel fine or no one in your family has had breast cancer, it is important to get screened.
  • Most women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.
  • Most women will have normal mammogram results.

What is OBSP?

The Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) is an organized breast screening program that provides high-quality breast cancer screening across the province. OBSP offers mammograms every 2 years for women aged 50 to 74 who are at average risk for breast cancer and have:

  • No acute breast symptoms.
  • No personal history of breast cancer.
  • No current breast implants.
  • Has not had a screening mammogram within the last 11 months.

Benefits of OBSP:  

  • High-quality mammograms in sites accredited by the Canadian Association of Radiologists, including MyHealth Centre.
  • No doctor’s referral required.
  • A reminder letter of when to return for your next mammogram – usually every 2 years
  • Assistance in setting up further testing or referrals, if needed

BEFORE THE TEST

Do not wear lotion deodorant or talcum powders near your breasts on your test day. Rinsing prior to exam does not eliminate all residue.

If your breasts experience tenderness prior to your menstrual period, you should try to schedule your examination for a time when your breasts will not be tender.

It is important to tell your physician if you have breast implants.

DURING THE TEST

Prior to a mammogram, you will need to remove jewelry and metal objects. You will also be asked to remove clothing above the waist and put on a gown. During the examination, one of your breasts will be placed between X-ray plates that will gradually compress. For some people, the process can be mildly uncomfortable, however, compressing the breast tissue ensures clear images.

Two images will be taken of each breast, one from top to bottom and the other from side to side. More images and/or ultrasound of the breast(s) may be required to complete the exam.

AFTER THE TEST

Once the test is completed, your breasts may be tender; however, you are able to return to your normal activities.

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