Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Manitoba women. Screening mammograms can find breast cancer early, when there may be more treatment options and a better chance of a cure.
Is it time for a screening mammogram? Call BreastCheck at 1-855-95-CHECK (1-855-952-4325) to make an appointment.
Breast or chest tissue is made up of fatty, connective, and glandular tissue..
Every year 900 Manitoban women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 200 will die from the disease.
Only 10% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of breast cancer.
Eight out of ten breast cancers occur in women age 50 or older.
BreastCheck is a program that checks Manitoba women ages 50 and over for early signs of breast cancer. Regular screening mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early. When found early, there may be more treatment options and better chance of a cure.
Cancer screening targets a specific group of people (e.g. age, sex) to maximize the potential benefit and minimize the potential harm of a screening test.
Talk with your health care provider about your individual risk for breast cancer.
Most people are at average risk of breast cancer should have a screening mammogram every 2 years.
Some people are at increased risk for breast cancer and may need to be screened more frequently. When you come for your first BreastCheck screening mammogram, we will ask you a series of questions to determine how frequently you should be screened for breast cancer. Factors you cannot change that can increase your risk for breast cancer include:
Women can be screened at BreastCheck if they are 50 years of age and over and:
Women who are not eligible to be screened at BreastCheck should speak with their health care provider about the best breast health care for their individual needs. Women who have symptoms of breast cancer should be referred to a diagnostic mammogram clinic by a health care provider for further testing.
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast tissue. An x-ray is a type of radiation that can pass through the body and is used to make an image of the tissue and bones. A mammogram image shows the detail of breast tissue from two different angles.
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The type of machine used and the process to get the first four images is the same for a screening or diagnostic mammogram. More images may need to be taken in a diagnostic mammogram to look at a specific area more closely, and different types of tools may be used to compress the tissue in different ways.
For women of average risk, research shows that the potential benefits of breast cancer screening with mammography outweigh the potential harms. BreastCheck recommends most women age 50-74 have a screening mammogram every 2 years.
Research shows that regular screening mammograms reduce deaths from breast cancer in women age 50 to 74 by 20-30%.
This is due to early detection. Most breast cancers discovered through regular screening are found at an earlier stage when there may be more treatment options as well as more positive outcomes.
Breast screening does not prevent breast cancer. A mammogram can only find breast cancer if it is already there. Some women may develop breast cancer before their first mammogram or between mammograms.
It is important to know how your breasts normally look and feel. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice any changes in your breasts between screening appointments, even if you had a normal screening mammogram.
Some women may be asked to return in 1 year. The most common reasons for this are:
BreastCheck will send you a letter to remind you when it is time to book your next appointment. Call us if you do not receive a letter.
Even if you have a normal mammogram result, if you notice any changes from how your breasts normally look and feel, you should contact your healthcare provider.
Your mammogram report will also note your breast density. Breast density is how breast tissue appears on a mammogram image. Breast tissue is made up of two types of tissue: glandular and connective (dense) tissue and fatty (non-dense) tissue. A person’s breast tissue may be called dense if they have more glandular tissue than fatty tissue. BreastCheck categorizes breast density into one of four categories:
a) almost all fatty tissue
b) mainly fatty tissue with some scattered areas of dense tissue
c) a mixture of fatty and dense tissue
d) almost entirely dense tissue
If you have dense breasts and are concerned about your risk of developing breast cancer, you should discuss your personal risk factors with your healthcare provider.
A mammogram image may show something that the radiologist wants to check with a follow-up test(s). It is normal to be a little scared, but it is important to know that most women who go for further follow-up testing do not have breast cancer.
You will be directly referred to one or more of the following places for additional test(s):
You will be provided with more information about your specific test(s), how to prepare and how you will receive the results by the place to which you are referred.
Most clients who need further testing have one or both of these tests:
A diagnostic mammogram experience is very similar to a screening mammogram. The diagnostic mammogram takes a closer look at a specific area of breast tissue by:
A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of the breast. During an ultrasound, a small amount of gel will be placed on your breast. A small probe (wand) will glide over the skin on your breast(s). The image can show if the lump is solid or filled with fluid.
A small number of patients will need a biopsy in addition to a diagnostic mammogram and/or ultrasound. A biopsy removes a small piece of breast tissue for testing. There are two main types of biopsy:
An ultrasound core biopsy uses a needle to remove tissue for testing when a lump can be felt, or seen on an ultrasound.
A stereotactic core biopsy uses a needle to remove tissue when an area is seen only on a mammogram.
Other follow-up that may also be needed can include:
After your follow-up test(s), you will be notified by mail if/when you can return to BreastCheck for a screening mammogram. Most clients will have a normal follow-up test result and return to BreastCheck for routine screening. For more information about follow-up tests you can contact:
CancerCare Manitoba, BreastCheck
Breast & Gyne Cancer Centre of Hope
Know what looks and feels normal for your breasts. See your health care provider if you notice any of these signs or symptoms:
We mail you a letter to make a screening mammogram appointment every 2 years starting at age 50. A doctor's referral is not needed. Call 1-855-95-CHECK to make an appointment.
Bring your Manitoba Health Card to all your CancerCare Manitoba Screening appointments. Keep the information on your Manitoba Health card current. This will enable us to send you letters to remind you to get screened for cancer. To learn more, visit the Manitoba Health Card website.
BreastCheck has six clinics that accept appointments year-round. Two BreastCheck clinics are mobile and travel to nearly 90 rural and northern communities on a rotating basis.
This tab is updated regularly with upcoming BreastCheck Mobile Clinic information. Site information is released up to 6 weeks in advance. For more information about an upcoming or future site, contact us at 1-855-95-CHECK or email BreastCheck@cancercare.mb.ca
Stonewall & District Health Centre
589 3rd Avenue S.
Nov 28 - Dec 28, 2023
Access Fort Garry
135 Plaza Drive
January 8-12, 2024
Headingly Community Centre
5353 Portage Avenue
January 8-10, 2024
All clinics are wheelchair accessible. Make BreastCheck aware of any physical limitations when booking your appointment.
To find a mammogram clinic nearest to you:
GREY icons = not currently accepting appointments
PINK icons = currently accepting appointments.
Communities can coordinate a group of people to attend a BreastCheck clinic at the same time for a series of consecutive appointments. Transportation to and from the BreastCheck clinic must be coordinated by the community/organization. For more information or to schedule a series of consecutive appointments (a.k.a. a group trip), contact BreastCheck at BreastCheck@cancercare.mb.ca
The Northern Patient Transportation Program (NPTP) subsidizes medical transportation costs for eligible Manitoba residents in the north to obtain medical or hospital care not available in their home community. Subsidies may include costs for an essential escort if required for a minor or a person with disabilities.
The Non-Insured Health Benefits Program offers coverage for travel to BreastCheck sites for registered First Nations clients.
Section 1.3 Medical transportation benefits may be provided for clients to access the following types of medically necessary health services
Clients, with the help of their health centres/nursing stations, are responsible for coordinating their travel through the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program.