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What To Expect

BGSA Radiology makes it a priority to ensure you are at ease during your mammogram, so here is what you should expect when you come visit our clinic:


  • Please report to the clinic approximately 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
  • Please turn off or mute your phone before arriving.
  • BGSA provides our patients with change rooms and you will be given a gown to change into. Please note, you may be asked to remove your jewelry.

Screening Mammogram

  • A screening mammogram takes about 10 minutes to complete.
  • Screening mammograms are routine checks used to find early signs of cancer in women who have no apparent breast problems or symptoms.
  • These checks can find subtle changes in the breast that are too small to be felt by you or your healthcare provider.
  • If there are any changes that require a closer look, BGSA will contact you for more imaging which might include an ultrasound.

Diagnostic Mammogram

  • They are used for women who have had previous breast cancer diagnosis and/or for women who notice unusual breast changes, such as:
    • New lump(s) in the breast or armpit
    • A nipple turned inward, if it usually isn’t
    • Crusting, bleeding, or a rash on the nipple
    • Nipple discharge
    • Dimpling or thickening of the skin in one area of your breast.
    • Changes noted on your previous screening mammogram

Requisition for Self-Referral

In Alberta, women over 40 can self-refer for a screening mammogram provided they have had a previous normal screening mammogram at our clinic and are not experiencing any new issues, such as a new lump.

If you have a new breast issue, it is important to discuss it with your health care provider and have them send us a Professional referral.  This ensures you have the appropriate follow-up care.

General Description

Mammograms are an X-ray of the breasts. There are two classifications of mammograms; screening and diagnostic.

We use the latest Digital Breast Image technology, and our technologists are certified by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) and are licensed to practice by the Alberta College of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists.

Our mammography service has passed the Canadian Association of Radiologists accreditation standards for breast screening in Canada.

How To Prepare

On the day of your exam, please wash off all deodorant, powders or lotions from under your arms and across the chest.

The ideal time to perform a mammogram on women who have menstrual cycles is seven (7) to ten (10) days after the onset of their period, since the breasts will be less tender.

If able, please refrain from caffeine for 24-48 hours prior to your exam – this will make the exam more comfortable for you.

More Information

Breast implants require more extensive images and will require additional time. Please notify our staff at the time of booking

What should I do if I am pregnant, or might be pregnant?

If you think you may be pregnant, you should always inform your healthcare provider AND our technologists because X- radiation can pose a risk to your pregnancy.

How much radiation is involved in a mammogram?

The radiation dose from a mammogram is about the same as the average person gets from natural, or background radiation over the course of three months (background radiation is the amount of radiation normally occurring in our natural environment).

What happens if I am called back for further imaging?

We know how anxious you will feel if this happens, but don’t panic, about 5-10% of screening mammograms show areas that require more testing. Most follow-up tests confirm there is no cancer present.

We will schedule you for your follow-up appointment in the same week so you and your health care provider will have answers quickly.