Yes, mammography is still the best overall breast cancer screening test for women who are not showing symptoms. It is able to detect many breast cancers before symptoms occur, even in women with the densest breasts. Recent medical evidence, which has also included Canadian screening data, has shown a 40 per cent decrease in death from breast cancer.
The chance of not detecting a cancer is increased in dense breasts due to the “masking” effect. However, mammography is able to detect some breast cancers more effectively than ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Regardless of breast density, mammography will not detect all breast cancers. Thus, it is important for women to be aware of the normal look and feel of their breasts, and to bring any breast changes to their health care provider’s attention, even if their last mammogram was normal.