Digital Mammography

On May 14,2013 Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) announced the findings of a comprehensive study comparing three different types of breast screening technology used in Ontario. The study examined the technology for mammography and found that digital direct radiography (DR) and screen film are significantly more effective than digital computed radiography (CR) at detecting breast cancer.
Patients who come to Headwaters Health Care Centre for mammography exams can be confident that they are receiving the highest quality of care with the best technology currently available. Thanks to the support of generous donors in our community, Headwaters has been providing digital direct radiography (DR) mammography, more specifically Full Field Digital Mammography since 2008, when it first offered mammograms to wowen in the community.
Local patients with questions or concerns regarding their mammograms are encouraged to contact Headwaters Diagnostic Imaging Department directly at 519-941-2702 x.2211. For further information about Cancer Care Ontario's research study on mammography, please visit their website at

A doctor's referral is required. To book an appointment call 519-941-2702 ext. 2211. Monday-Friday 8 am - 4 pm. Do NOT wear any deodorant or talcum powder on the day of your examination.

Procedure description

A mammogram is a diagnostic procedure that can detect abnormalities in the breast. A digital mammogram stores the images, electronically, on a computer, allowing the recorded data to be enhanced, magnified, or manipulated for further evaluation. It is especially useful for providing more diagnostic information on patients with dense breast tissue.
Digital mammograms take as little as half the time of traditional exams and use a lower dose of radiation. Increased image clarity decreases the likelihood a woman will be called back for another exam, which reduces anxiety.

For this procedure, the individual will be asked to put on an appropriate gown. The technologist will explain how the procedure is done, review the individual's brief medical history, and answer any questions. The individual will be asked to stand in front of the mammography machine. The technologist will need to compress each breast for a few seconds while the digital image is being taken. This should not be painful, although it will be uncomfortable. Compression is extremely important as it provides a much clearer picture of the breast by separating the tissue. The compression does not damage the breast and produces no long-term discomfort. On occasion, mild bruising may occur.

Individuals at risk (women with a positive family history or dense breasts) are advised to carry out regular, careful monthly breast self-examinations and also to visit their doctor routinely for a complete clinical examination.