Test Preparations: Mammography

About mammography

Mammography is a specialized type of low dose X-ray imaging technique that plays an essential role in the early detection and screening of breast cancer, and investigation of breast health issues.

Lighthouse Medical Imaging is affiliated with the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP), providing screening mammograms by fully accredited technicians.

Before the test

You should avoid wearing talcum powder, lotion or deodorant near your breasts or under your arms on your test day, as you will be required to rinse it off prior to the examination.

If your breasts experience tenderness prior to your menstrual period you should try to schedule your examination for a time when your breasts will not be tender.

It is important to tell your physician if you have breast implants.

During the test

Prior to a mammogram, you will need to remove jewelry and metal objects. You will also be asked to remove clothing above the waist and put on a paper gown.

The technologist will be asking you some questions regarding your previous medical information, including whether or not you have breast implants, to allow the radiologist to better understand your medial health and optimally interpret your mammogram images. If you require assistance in answering these questions, please bring a family member or friend who can assist you.

During the examination, your breasts will be placed between mammographic compression paddles that will gradually compress your breast. Two images will be taken of each breast, one from top to bottom and the other from side to side. For some people, the process can be mildly uncomfortable, however, compressing the breast tissue ensures we are able to obtain accurate images to allow proper diagnosis.

After the test

Once the test is completed, your breasts may be tender; however, you are able to return to your normal activities.

Your requisition form

To avoid delays on the day of your test, ensure that you bring your health card and your requisition. Also, confirm that your doctor included the following on your requisition form:

  • Patient full name, sex, date of birth
  • Physician name and signature

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