Mammography is an imaging technique that uses X-rays to provide a picture of the internal structure of the breast. The X-rays can show abnormal growths or changes in breast tissue before they can be found by any other method, including breast self-examination.
The purpose of mammography is to find developing cancer of the breast as early as possible. Early detection usually means more effective treatment. It can save lives and can also contribute to a better quality of life by reducing the need for radical treatments. The benefit of early diagnosis and treatment far outweighs the risk of the small amount of radiation received during a mammogram.
For general information about the benefits and risks of using mammography
For performance surveys and consultation reports regarding mammography services in Canada
- National Survey of Canadian Mammographic Facilities, 1997
A national survey comprising approximately 60% of all Canadian mammographic facilities was conducted in 1994-95. The survey, which was coordinated by Health Canada, was a cooperative undertaking of the federal and all provincial and territorial governments in Canada. The survey protocol, which was developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US FDA), was used for U.S. national surveys in 1985, 1988 and 1992 and is similar to U.S. accreditation requirements of the Mammography Quality Standards Act and the Canadian accreditation requirements of the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR). The use of a standardized protocol and inter-calibration of survey equipment will permit direct comparisons of the findings with other North American survey data to be made. This report describes the protocol and presents the material findings.
- Consultation Report on the Results of the National Survey of Canadian Mammography Facilities, 1998
For safety guidelines related to mammography
- Canadian Mammography Quality Guidelines, 2002
The responsibility for the quality of mammography in Canada is shared among federal, provincial and territorial governments,and the medical professionals who carry out the procedure and interpret the films. This document provides guidance to all mammography facilities,both screening and diagnostic, to ensure mammography of the highest quality. It should be noted that other provincial or territorial requirements may exist that supersede or add to provisions of this document.This document does not apply to digital mammography systems
- Safety Code 33.
Radiation Protection in Mammography, 1995
These documents provide specific guidance to the radiologist, radiology technologist, medical physicist, radiation safety officer and other personnel concerned with safety procedures and equipment performance in mammography.
To make an inquiry regarding mammography