Regular breast cancer screening is an important part of a health routine. Here in BC, we have
some of the best survival outcomes in Canada for those who do get breast cancer. This success
is largely due to improved cancer treatments and participation in breast cancer screening.
Obtaining a regular mammogram is a key component of early detection – regular breast cancer
screening can find cancer when it is small, which means:
- there may be more treatment options
- it is less likely to spread
- there is a better chance of treating cancer successfully
The risk of breast cancer increases as you get older; over 80% of breast cancers in BC are found in
women 50 years and older. BC Cancer is committed to finding breast cancers early through breast
cancer screening through its population-based program.
The Breast Screening Program utilizes standard two-view bilateral mammography (x-ray of the breast) for breast cancer screening. Women ages 40-74 may
self-refer to the program; however, it is recommended that by age 50, average-risk women have a
screening mammogram every two years. Women are not eligible for a screening mammogram in BC if
they have had breast cancer or breast implants, or if they currently have breast symptoms requiring a
diagnostic investigation. These patients must speak with their health care provider and may be
referred for a diagnostic mammogram.