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A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that is used to screen for breast cancer. This test can find tumours that are too small for you or your doctor to feel. Cancer is most easily treated when it is found at an early stage.
Watch How do I get screened for breast cancer (video) or visit screeningforlife.ca to learn about getting a mammogram in Alberta.
A mammogram is done to:
If you've had a mammogram before at another clinic, have the results sent or bring them with you to your appointment.
On the day of the mammogram, don't use any deodorant. And don't use perfume, powders, or ointments near or on your breasts. The residue left on your skin by these substances may interfere with the X-rays.
A mammogram is often uncomfortable but rarely painful. If you have sensitive or fragile skin or a skin condition, let the technologist know before you have your examination. If you have menstrual periods, the procedure is more comfortable when done within 2 weeks after your period has ended.
Having your breasts flattened is usually uncomfortable, but it helps the technologist get the best images.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
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Adaptation Date: 9/14/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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