PEI Breast Screening Program

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast and it is the best screening tool to detect cancer early. Regular screening with mammography can find changes in the breast before they can be felt and increase your chances of long term survival.

Prince Edward Island Breast Screening Program

How can I be part of the screening program?

A screening mammogram is available for women aged 40-74 who:

  • Are residents of PEI;
  • Do not have a personal history of breast cancer;
  • Do not have breast symptoms such as a breast lump, puckered skin, rash or nipple discharge;
  • Do not have breast implants; or
  • Have not had a mammogram within the past 12 months.

For Women age 50-74:                 

  • Screening is recommended every 2 years through self-referral to the PEI Breast Screening Program.

For Women age 40-49: 

  • Screening is available every year through self-referral to the PEI Breast Screening Program.

High Risk of Breast Cancer:        

Screening is recommended yearly with mammography for women who:

  • Have had radiation therapy to the chest (prior to age 30) to treat another cancer or condition (e.g., Hodgkin lymphoma); or
  • Are known to have a gene mutation (e.g., BRCA1, BRCA2).

Increased Risk of Breast Cancer:      

Screening is recommended yearly for women 40-74 who have an immediate family member (mother, daughter, sister, father, son, brother) with breast cancer. 

  • Women over 40 years of age can self-refer to the breast program.  
  • If you have a first degree relative who was diagnosed with breast cancer, you can enter the screening program 10 years prior to the family member’s age at breast cancer diagnosis. A health care provider’s referral is required for this initial screening appointment.
It is important to talk with your health care provider about your breast health and what is right for you. Your health care provider can provide information on the benefits and limitations of screening so that an informed decision can be made.   

    Stay informed and know the benefits and risks of breast screening.

How do I get a breast screening appointment?

You can schedule an appointment without a referral from your physician or nurse practitioner by calling 1-888-592-9888

The PEI Breast Screening Program operates at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Prince County Hospital

Once you are part of the screening program, you will receive a reminder letter stating it is time to call again and schedule your next appointment.

How should I prepare for my mammogram?

Do not wear deodorant, lotion or any powder when you come for your mammogram. These may cause artifacts (small particles) that can interfere with the test results.  

Will it hurt?

Your breast tissue needs to be compressed (spread out) to obtain the best images and this may cause temporary discomfort. The exam does not take long.

Will I need to wear a thyroid collar for the mammogram?

No, a thyroid collar is not recommended during the mammogram and may interfere with the images. The Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) position is that “the use of thyroid shield for mammography is not indicated”.

What else can I do?

The best way to detect breast cancer at its earliest stage is by having a mammogram. You can also perform a breast self exam at home which can help you become familiar with how your breasts look and feel, so you can report any changes to a health care professional as soon as they are found.

How do I contact the PEI Breast Screening Program?

To schedule an appointment call 1-888-592-9888 (toll free).

For other questions, call the mammography department at:

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital:    (902) 894-2915 or (902) 894-2924
  • Prince County Hospital:        (902) 438-4570

To talk with the Provincial Breast Screening Coordinator call (902) 894-2914.  
 

Published date: 
May 4, 2018
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General Inquiries

Health PEI
16 Garfield Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: (902) 368-6130
Fax: (902) 368-6136

healthpei@gov.pe.ca

Your Health Privacy

Media Inquiries
Phone: (902) 368-6135

Health PEI Board of Directors
Phone: (902) 368-4637

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department.

If you are unsure what to do about a health issue or if you need health information, call 8-1-1.

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