Mammography is the most effective test for detecting breast cancer as early as possible, even when there are no symptoms. It allows the visualization of structures within the breast and the detection of small lesions that may not be detected by palpation (cysts, calcifications and tumors).


Conventional mammography

Conventional mammography is an examination that lasts a few minutes and is performed by a radiology technologist.

It involves taking a minimum of two x-rays of each breast, one horizontal and one oblique (sideways), by applying compression to the breast for 10 to 15 seconds to obtain a quality image and to reduce the amount of radiation emitted.

There is no risk of trauma or injury, but the compression may cause some discomfort, sometimes even mild pain in some people.

There are now two technologies for breast radiography: conventional mammography and tomosynthesis.

Screening mammography

Screening mammography aims to find breast cancer in a healthy woman. It increases the chances of survival by detecting abnormalities in the breast structure as early as possible.

Women between the ages of 50 and 69 are advised to have a screening mammogram every 2 years.

In addition to conventional mammography examinations, our center performs tomosynthesis examinations to improve the detection of breast diseases.

Diagnostic mammography

Diagnostic mammography is usually performed when a new problem, such as a nodule, discharge or changes in the skin or nipple, is detected by a health professional (physician, primary care nurse practitioner) or by the patient herself.

A conventional mammogram or tomosynthesis is then performed on one breast (unilateral) or on both breasts (bilateral), depending on the signs observed.

Unlike screening mammograms, which are performed at least one year apart, there is no time interval for diagnostic mammograms.


Tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography, involves taking several x-rays from different angles using an x-ray tube that moves in an arc over each compressed breast.

The x-rays are then synthesized by computer to create three-dimensional images of the breasts, much like a CT scan.

These more accurate images reduce the need for additional tests and improve breast cancer detection by 30 to 40 percent, especially small cancers that can be missed during 2D mammography due to overlapping tissue.

Preparing for the exam

Preparation is the same for conventional mammography and tomosynthesis.

To facilitate the procedure and if your breasts are sensitive, you can schedule your appointment for the examination 10 days after the beginning of your menstrual period. Some women have found that avoiding coffee, tea, chocolate and colas for two weeks before the exam can reduce discomfort.

In preparation for your mammogram exam, we will ask you to:

not to put deodorant, powder, perfume or body lotion on your breasts and underarms. These products cause false images on the x-ray that can be mistaken for lesions.

Put on a gown and remove your jewelry and any metal objects that may affect the quality of the images. Since you will be stripped to the waist, a two-piece suit may be more practical.

Advise the technologist of the presence of breast prostheses so that he/she can adopt an appropriate working technique

A medial order is required to perform this examination.

If you have a prescription for an ultrasound that is not mentioned, contact us

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