5 advantages of the mammogram

5 advantages of the mammogram

Mammograms use X-rays to generate an image of the breast.

There are 2 types of mammograms:

  • Screening
  • Diagnosis

Screening Mammograms

Diagnosis Mammograms


Women who do not have any symptoms of breast cancer or breast problems

Women with a breast problem


Detect breast cancer at its earliest stages

Obtain more accurate images for a diagnosis

Depending on where you live, screening mammograms are recommended every two years for women between 50 and 70.

The Canadian Association of Radiologists recommends that women over 40 should also get screening mammograms.

1. It’s Effective

The mammogram is the best method of detecting breast cancer, especially for small lumps.

They will appear as white spots on the image.

Since the mammogram is very accurate, it can detect abnormal changes and cancerous cells better than any other method used by healthcare professionals, like clinical breast examinations.

Breast self-exam?

You are always encouraged to examine your own breasts and armpits (lymph nodes).

In order to prevent breast cancer, it’s important to know and see the signs:

  • Visible or palpable lumps
  • Change in volume or shape
  • Malformation
  • Discharge
  • Acne, ulcers
  • Thickening and hardening of the skin, orange peel skin
  • Inverted or deviated nipple
  • Feeling of pain and heat or redness

When in doubt, speak to a healthcare professional about whether or not to get a mammogram.

Detecting those most at risk

Mammograms can be used to detect cancer in younger women who are deemed at risk, like:

  • Those who have mutations to BRCA 1 and 2 genes (like Angelina Jolie)
  • Those who have a history of breast, ovarian or colorectal cancer in their family
  • Those who received chest irradiation

2. It Promotes Early Treatment

The sooner breast cancer is detected, the more likely the treatment provided will not be too invasive.

You could avoid chemotherapy as well as a double mastectomy.

It goes without saying that a more benign treatment will reduce the recovery period and make it easier to adapt to the changes.

3. It Saves Lives

Your province’s breast cancer mammogram screening program is tried and true.

In fact, early diagnosis has reduced the risk of dying of breast cancer and of requiring chemotherapy. For every 1,000 women who undergo screenings every two years over a period of 20 years, seven deaths will be avoided.

Breast Cancer Numbers

  • Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women in Canada.
  • It represents 25% of all new cancer cases in women.
  • One Canadian in eight will develop breast cancer and the risk increases with age.
  • Every day, 76 Canadians are diagnosed with breast cancer.

4. It’s Risk-Free

The x-rays used in mammograms have a low risk of causing cancer themselves, due to the low dose of radiation. Plus, cells damaged by x-rays will repair themselves over time.

In all cases, the advantages of screening mammograms greatly outweigh the risk posed by the radiation.

5. It’s Free

In Canada, screening mammograms are free of charge when done at one of your province’s screening centres.

Why not take advantage of it?

Better safe than sorry!

Preventing breast cancer goes way beyond regular mammograms!

Your lifestyle and habits also play a role. In fact, you might even consider adding cancer-fighting foods to your diet.