All screening tests, including mammography, have benefits and limitations. Knowing what they are may help you make an informed decision about what is right for you.
The earlier detection of early stage breast cancers: if breast cancers are detected when they are small and have not spread, most patients can be treated successfully.
Better treatment options: if results indicate early stage breast cancer, in most cases, this leads to more treatment options with less invasive forms of treatment (e.g. lumpectomy rather than mastectomy).
Reduced death and disability from breast cancer: in most cases, the earlier detection and timely treatment of breast cancer reduces the risk of death or long-term disability.
Access to the highest quality screening when you have a mammogram at your provincial or territorial organized breast cancer screening program or an accredited clinic. These screening clinics have highly trained staff who specialize in breast cancer detection. They also meet national standards for radiologist and medical radiation technologist qualifications, equipment, image quality, radiation dose, quality control and quality assurance.
Feeling empowered by participating in screening and taking action for your breast health. Screening is an important part of preventive health care and is a concrete action you can take for your breast health.
To help you make an informed decision about what is right for you, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation encourages you to learn about your breast health, breast cancer risk, ways to reduce your risk, and the benefits and limitations of breast cancer screening. To inform your decisions, we also encourage you to consider speaking with a health care provider.
When to get a mammogram
Where to go for a mammogram
What to expect when you go for a mammogram
Breast cancer risk factors
Reducing your risk of breast cancer
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. (2010). Earlier Detection and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer. Recommendations and Scientific Review from It’s About Time! A Consensus Conference. Toronto, ON: Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Health Canada. It’s Your Health: Mammography. Accessed July 31, 2011.
Public Health Agency of Canada. Information on mammography for women aged 40 and older. Accessed July 31, 2011.