Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose X-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women. Markham Stouffville Hospital offers the latest in digital mammography equipment at both sites. Digital mammography is one of the most advanced technologies available today. At Markham Stouffville Hospital, digital mammography uses a specially designed digital camera and a computer to produce an image that is displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor.
The Markham site also has the latest technology – breast tomosynthesis. During the tomosynthesis scan, multiple low-dose images of the breast are acquired at different angles. These images are then used to produce a series of one millimeter thick slices that can be viewed as a three dimensional reconstruction of the breast. Tomosynthesis is used for some select cases – patients with previous breast cancer, patients with new breast concerns, patients called back for extra imaging and patients who meet the criteria for high risk OBSP screening.
Diagnostic mammography is used to evaluate a patient with abnormal clinical findings—such as a breast lump or lumps—that have been found by the woman or her doctor.
Screening mammography plays an important part in early detection of breast cancers. And is the best screening test for most women. Women aged 50-74 are encouraged to have a mammogram every two years to detect changes in breast tissue that are too small to feel or see.
Regular screening mammograms can find cancer when it is small, which means:
- There is a better chance of treating the cancer successfully.
- It is less likely to spread.
- There may be more treatment options.
- It could save your life
To schedule an appointment call 905-472-7020.
What is OBSP?
Markham Stouffville Hospital is an Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) partner. OBSP is an organized breast cancer screening program that is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and managed by Cancer Care Ontario.The OBSP offers important advantages for women and their primary care providers, including scheduling of all screening appointments, sending recall and result letters to women, and arranging follow-up services for women with results that show they need more tests. Women who are screened for breast cancer within an organized screening program like the OBSP further benefit by participating in a program that undergoes ongoing quality assurance, program monitoring and evaluation to ensure that its clients receive high-quality screening. In addition, all OBSP sites are accredited with the Canadian Association of Radiologists Mammography Accreditation Program.
Both sites of the Markham Stouffville Hospital are affiliated with the OBSP.
Click here to view the OBSP Fact Sheet on digital mammography.
Click here to view the mammography brochure.
Location and Contact Information
We suggest parking in the main hospital parking lot, opposite the Link Lobby Entrance and Medical Office Building, when visiting diagnostic services.
Please go to the central registration desk on the main floor of Building A, before heading to diagnostic services on the second floor in Building B where you'll be directed to the designated waiting room.
Diagnostic services is located in Uxbridge Cottage Hospital – 4 Campbell Drive, Uxbridge.
For more information on parking at the Markham or Uxbridge sites, please click here.
Both Markham Stouffville Hospital and Uxbridge Cottage Hospital are accredited with CAR (Canadian Association of Radiologists).
Your procedure will be reported by a radiologist who specializes in interpreting the results of medical imaging exams.
Your mammogram will be done by a friendly and profressional female registered MRT (medical radiation technologist).
The mammography department also works in conjunction with our Breast Health Centre.
What You Should Know
Before Your Visit
Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your period if your breasts are usually tender during this time. The best time for a mammogram is one week after your period.
Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots.
If possible, obtain prior mammograms and bring them to your next appointment for the radiologist to view at your current exam.
Please arrive 30 minutes before your test to register at the central registration desk in Building A. Please bring your health card and your requisition (if your physician has provided you with one).
During Your Visit
During your mammogram, a specially qualified female radiologic technologist will position your breast in the mammography unit. Your breast will be placed on a special platform and compressed with a paddle (often made of clear Plexiglas or other plastic). The technologist will slowly compress your breast.
Breast compression is necessary to:
- Even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized.
- Spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities are less likely to be obscured by overlying breast tissue.
- Allow the use of a lower X-ray dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is being imaged.
- Hold the breast still in order to minimize blurring of the image caused by motion.
- Reduce X-ray scatter to increase sharpness of picture.
You will be asked to change positions between images. The routine views are a top-to-bottom view and an angled side view. The process will be repeated for the other breast.
After Your Visit
A radiologist will analyze the images and send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician, who will discuss the results with you.
If you are part of the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP), the results of your mammogram will be sent to you as well as your family physician within 10 days of your appointment.
Click here to view aftercare for your OBSP visit.
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