FAQs: Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre (MKBC)

Here are answers to some of the common questions asked about coming for a mammogram.

A mammogram is an X-ray of the soft tissue of the breast. A ‘screening mammogram’ is a routine X-ray of the breast in women who have no symptoms. This generally involves taking two pictures of each breast.

A ‘diagnostic mammogram’ is an X-ray of the breast taken when an abnormality is detected or suspected in the breast. Extra pictures may be taken from different angles get the most information about the area of concern.

The procedure can be uncomfortable as some women have more sensitive breasts than others. Unfortunately, the tighter the breasts are compressed (squeezed), the more accurate picture can be obtained. This will be done as quickly as possible.

If possible, try to book your appointment between your menstrual cycles when your breasts are least sensitive.

On the day of your scheduled mammogram, do not wear talcum powder and avoid lotions such as deodorant or moisturizer. Flecks of talcum powder can show up as calcifications and lotions can make the breast slippery.

The Canadian Cancer Society provides helpful information on many types of screening and diagnostic tests. Learn more about mammograms.

Ultrasound is useful in interpreting a mammogram. It helps us determine if the lump is solid tissue or is fluid filled like a cyst.