Screening Mammography Program of BC
The BC Cancer Agency’s Screening Mammography Program provides free, regular mammograms to BC women from the age of 40 without a doctor’s referral. (see guidelines below)
A screening mammogram is an x-ray exam of the breast used to find breast changes in healthy women with no signs of breast problems. At the exam, a trained female technologist takes four x-rays, two of each breast.
Who is eligible?
- Must be a B.C. resident
- Women 40 to 49 years of age: have access to screening every 2 years
- Women 50 -74 years of age: recommended screening every 2 years
- Women 75 years and older: continue to have access to screening without a doctor's referral
- Women 40 -74 years of age *with a family history of breast cancer in a first degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) to receive annual screening
- Have no breast changes (e.g. new lumps, thickening or discharge)
- Can provide the name of a doctor to receive the results
- Have not had a mammogram within 12 months
- Have not had breast cancer
- Do not have breast implants
- Are not pregnant or breast-feeding
If you do not meet the criteria for screening mammography, please talk to your doctor to find out about other mammography options.
What to do if you are experiencing a breast health concern.
Book your screening mammogram by calling 1-800-663-9203.
Screening Mammography Locations
Mobile screening mammography services are offered through the Screening Mammography Program once or twice a year. For a schedule, please visit www.bccancer.bc.ca/screening/breast/find-a-clinic/mobile-mammography-service
Fixed location services
Island Health offers screening mammography services at some Island Health locations.
“Fast Track” Facilitated Diagnostic Work-ups for Women with Abnormal Screening Mammograms
About 7% of all women screened in BC have abnormal screening mammograms. These cases may require follow-up imaging tests, called diagnostic work-ups. The Screening Mammography Program has a Fast Track process to reduce the time required to complete diagnostic work-ups.
If your physician participates in the Fast Track process, you will receive a call to arrange a timely appointment for follow-up imaging tests. Otherwise, a physician will arrange for the appropriate tests once he or she receives the screening mammogram report.
Women who have not heard from their physician or a diagnostic facility within one week of receiving their abnormal results letter need to contact their physician.
People are often surprised to learn that only 5-10% of cancer diagnosis can be attributed to heredity.
The BC Cancer Agency website has information to help you determine whether your family is at risk for developing a hereditary cancer.
For families at risk for developing a hereditary cancer, a physician can refer you to the BC Cancer Agency's Hereditary Cancer Program for genetic counseling.
If you would like more information you can contact the Hereditary Cancer Program at 1-800-663-3333 Ext. 672198.