A mammogram is an X-ray of the breasts (mammary glands) used to screen for breast problems, such as lumps or small tumors that can be seen before they can be felt.

Mammograms do not prevent breast cancer or reduce a woman's risk of developing cancer but they can detect cancer early, when it is more easily treated. About 5% - 10% of mammograms require further testing. This may include an additional mammogram view or a different test, such as an ultrasound, biopsy tissue sampling or MRI.

A mammogram is often uncomfortable but rarely painful. If you have sensitive skin, fragile skin or a skin condition, let your technician know before your exam. If you have menstrual periods, the procedure is more comfortable when done within the week after your last period, especially if your breasts become tender before your period starts.

Tell your health professional if you:

  • Are or might be pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Have breast implants
  • Have previously had a breast biopsy

 If you have previously had a mammogram done at another clinic, have the results sent or bring them with you to your examination.

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.