A mammogram is an imaging test that evaluates the breast tissue using a low dose of x-rays. A mammogram is done to look for signs of early cancer. On a mammogram, cancer may show up as a mass, calcification or tissue distortion.
A mammogram is usually done as a screening test, meaning that it is done on patients that have no breast symptoms. It is typically performed on women over the age of 50, but sometimes in younger patients depending on personal and family history. A diagnostic mammogram is done when a patient has a breast symptom such as a lump or nipple discharge or when an abnormality is found on a screening mammogram.
Mammography is offered at all three of Halton Healthcare Services hospitals and use Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM). With this technology, the image is captured using x-rays that are electronically processed and immediately displayed as a digital image.