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Breast Health Services

We offer two services for women: Screening Mammography and Diagnostic Services
Screening

Screening Mammography

This program offers screening mammograms, which are the best way to find early breast cancer. The earlier a cancer is detected, the more options a woman has for treatment and the better chance she has for a cure. No doctor's referral is required.

The Screening Mammography Program (SMP) was established through the BC Cancer Agency to reduce breast cancer mortality through early detection. It is recommended that women aged 40 to 79 with no signs of a breast problem (such as lumps, nipple discharge, etc.) have a screening mammogram at least every two years.

You do not need a referral for a mammography. Just call the clinic to book an appointment.

Diagnostic Services

Diagnostic Services

Please note that a physician or nurse practitioner referral is required for this service

Our Diagnostic Program offers specialized medical imaging to women who have had a new abnormality identified by:
a) A screening mammogram, or 
b) Examination by a doctor or Nurse Practitioner.

For women who have had the abnormality detected by their screening mammogram, the referral will be fast-tracked to our site directly from the Screening Mammography clinic, and no additional referral is required. 

Diagnostic imaging services include: Diagnostic Mammogram & Ultrasound, Galactogram (Mammoductography), Biopsy, Fine Wire Localization, Fine Needle Aspiration, and Cyst Aspiration.

If you have questions or concerns about the procedures, please contact BC Women's Hospital and ask to speak to our nurse navigator (604-875-2000, local 2107).

Appointments

Screening Mammography Appointments

Call 604-775-0022 to book an appointment.
Long distance call (toll free) 1-800-663-9203
Please have your Care Card number available. 

Clinic hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

At the time of your visit we will need the name and contact information of your family physician. If you do not have a family physician, please let our booking clerks know when you call to make your appointment. 

On the day of your appointment

Please wear a two-piece outfit (you will be asked to undress from the waist up).

Do not use deodorant, talcum powder, creams or lotions on your breasts or underarms. These products leave a residue that can make it difficult to read your mammogram. Please do not wear perfume.

Please check in at reception, you will be asked to complete a short health form - the form helps us assess your current health status.

The mammogram is done in complete privacy. The Mammography Technologist will take two x-rays of each breast (4 x-rays in total) - one view from top to bottom and the other view from side-to-side. Your breast will be compressed by a plastic plate as the x-ray is taken.

Compression of the breast with a plastic plate allows us to get the best possible image with the least amount of radiation. Compression may be uncomfortable but it only lasts for a few seconds and is not harmful to the breast. Tip: For sensitive breasts: schedule the mammogram when your breasts are least sensitive (e.g. 10 days after your period), or consider taking an over-the-counter pain relief pill about an hour before the exam. Some women find caffeine increases breast sensitivity.

The technologist is available throughout the exam to answer any of your questions.

Diagnostic Services

You need a referral from a doctor or nurse practitioner for our Diagnostic Service.  Breast Health Diagnostic Service Referrals

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