Digital Mammography Procedures
To ensure that the quality of mammography images meets the highest standards Campbellford Memorial Hospital has been an accredited screen site over 15 years. Only qualified personnel perform and interpret mammograms and that dedicated mammography equipment remains optimally operational to ensure that women receive mammography examinations with the lowest possible dose and risk.
Mammograms are most commonly used as a screening device for early detection of breast cancer in women with no breast symptoms. Patients who feel a lump in their breast or have an unusual discharge from their nipple should also be evaluated regardless of their age. Screening mammograms are recommended every two years over the age of 50. Annual screening may be necessary based on family history of breast cancer. The frequency of your mammograms, and the timing of your first mammogram, should be discussed with your physician.
A screening mammogram usually requires four pictures (2 of each breast) taken in different positions. Extra pictures may be required. The breast is pulled forward and compressed between a digital detector and a clear plastic compression paddle. When the breast is well compressed, the breast structures can be optimally visualized on the X-ray and a lesser dose can be administered to the patient.
A referral is required from your physician in order to book an appointment for a mammogram. The physician’s office will forward this to the Central Bookings Department. The Booking department will contact you within 3 to 4 working days with your appointment date and time.
PLEASE NOTE: Do not use deodorant, talcum powder or any other ointment or cream on your breasts or underarms before your exam. You may want to bring these items with you to use after your mammogram. Dress comfortably, preferably in a two piece outfit since you will be asked to undress above the waist for the procedure. A breast ultrasound may or may not be necessary based on the mammography images which will be reviewed by the radiologist.
Important: If you think you may be pregnant, please inform the technologist before your examination starts.
Ontario Breast Screening Program – Women age 50 and over
CMH is affiliated with the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP). The OBSP provides high-quality digital mammography. This program is funded through Cancer Care Ontario and Accredited by the Canadian Association of Radiologists. This is a self-referral program therefore you do not need a requisition from your family doctor if you meet the following requirements. To be eligible for OBSP, a woman must:
- Be 50 or older
- Not have had a mammogram in the past year
- Never been diagnosed with breast cancer
- Have no current symptoms of a breast problem
- Have no breast implants
Our screening clinics are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you are eligible for the Ontario Breast Screening Program, please call 705-653-3104 for an appointment.
Screening results are sent both to the client and her family doctor. The OBSP also helps to set up extra tests or referrals if your results suggest that they are needed. The OBSP also provides a reminder letter when it is time to return for your next screening mammogram. Usually, this is every two years. Women over the age of 73 do not receive a reminder letter. However, they are welcome to call for an appointment if they have discussed it with their healthcare provider and have a requisition.
If you are younger than age 50 and would like a mammogram or notice a breast symptom before your next screening mammogram is due, please contact your doctor. Your doctor can refer you to our general mammography department.
Routine Mammograms – Women under age 50
If you under the age of 50 or have had breast cancer, a referral is required from your physician in order to book an appointment for a mammogram. The physician’s office will forward this to the Central Bookings Department who will contact you within 3 to 4 working days with your appointment date and time.
You can get in touch with the doctor who sent you for the test to get the results. If there is an abnormal finding, we have implemented a process for follow-up thorough the Breast Assessment Centre at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. The Breast Health Navigator will arrange any follow up testing with your primary care physician.