Putting power in patients' hands

Mayfair • May 03, 2018

Mayfair Diagnostics is the first in Western Canada to introduce state-of-the-art mammography technology that gives patients the option to adjust their own level of breast compression during their mammogram.

Some patients find mammograms uncomfortable, due to the pressure, and are therefore less likely to screen with mammography. This new technology allows the patient to reduce the pressure of the exam, while still maintaining excellent diagnostic quality.

After the breast is properly positioned by a technologist and initial compression is set, the patient can use a handheld wireless remote control – called patient-assisted compression – to adjust the level of compression to what’s comfortable for her, under the guidance of a technologist.

Since the late 80s, Canada’s breast cancer death rate has been declining thanks to earlier detection from regular mammography screening and improvements in treatment. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, about 87% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are still alive after five years, and the earlier cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.

Breast cancer will affect one in eight women in Canada, but if you find it early, there are more ways to treat it and the chances are better you will survive it. The best way to detect breast cancer early is by having regular screening mammography exams. Having a mammogram every year, or every two years, makes it easier for a radiologist to compare your images and see changes or areas of concern. If you wait until you feel pain or notice something different about your breasts, the breast cancer might be bigger and harder to fight.

WHO SHOULD HAVE A MAMMOGRAM?

All women should have a mammogram. Many people start having regular mammograms every year at about age 40, since Alberta Health Care covers one mammogram per year starting at that age. If you have pain or concern about your breasts earlier than that, you can of course go see your doctor and arrange to have a mammogram. There is no cost in that situation.

WHEN SHOULD I GET SCREENED?

Mayfair Diagnostics recommends that you have a mammography every year from age 40 to 49. After that we recommend a mammogram every two years from age 50 to 75, unless you have pain or concerns with your breasts, or if you have spoken with your doctor and your medical history suggests a mammogram each year is beneficial. After age 75, screening frequency will depend on your medical history and should be discussed with your doctor. It’s also important to be aware of your breasts and report any changes in their look and feel, such as pain, lumps, or nipple discharge, to your doctor.

To get a mammogram, you will need to speak to your doctor about your family history, when to start screening, and how frequently you should be screened. The new Senographe Pristina mammography system is available in our Mayfair Diagnostics’ Mayfair Place and Southcentre locations, and will be available in our Mahogany location opening Fall 2018.

Breast Health, Your Clinic Visit