Complete Breast Assessment

A Complete Breast Assessment is an option on Mayfair’s General Requisition that your doctor may order for you. It starts with Screening Mammography, an X-ray exam that provides detailed images of the internal structure of your breast tissue and can reveal changes that are too small for you or your doctor to feel.

Once the mammogram is complete, our Volpara software will determine your breast density score and your technologist will decide if an ultrasound is appropriate, such as a Diagnostic Breast Ultrasound or an Automated Breast Ultrasound.

Dense breast tissue is a clinical diagnosis that can only be assessed by mammography. Dense breasts have less fat and more glandular and connective tissue, which make a mammogram harder to read so smaller cancers may be hidden. Very dense breast tissue can also increase breast cancer risk.

A Diagnostic Breast Ultrasound may be booked as a supplement to a screening mammography for patients with extremely dense breast tissue (Volpara D score) or patients who have a high risk factor for breast cancer (first-degree relative diagnosed with breast cancer) combined with heterogeneously dense breast tissue (Volpara C score). For more information about breast density, read our Knowledge Centre article What are Dense Breasts?

Please note: When booking your initial appointment, we will check previous reports for your Volpara score. If one is not available, you will be booked for a Screening Mammography only and it will be determined whether an ultrasound is necessary. We will do our best to schedule this on the same day, but you may have to return another day for an ultrasound.

For more information on how to prepare and what happens during each exam, please click the links above.

Our newest technology, the GE Senographe Prinstina Dueta mammography system, is now available at four locations in Calgary.  Mayfair Diagnostics was the first to bring this technology to Western Canada – it gives patients the option to adjust their own level of breast compression during their mammogram.

For Your Appointment

Please ensure that you bring your requisition with to your appointment.

Questions?

Duration

15-30 min. (Mammogram)
plus 15 min. (ABUS)
or 45 min. (handheld breast ultrasound)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Does an ultrasound replace a mammography exam?

Mammography is the gold standard for breast imaging, Ultrasound is meant to compliment it not replace it.

How do I determine my breast density?

To determine your breast density, you will need to discuss scheduling a mammogram and a review of the results with your health care provider. Each person who has a mammogram at Mayfair will receive a Volpara Score. Volpara is a program that provides a volumetric assessment of breast density and assigns each person a Volpara score – A (almost entirely fatty) to D (almost entirely dense).

What does it mean if I have dense breast tissue?

Both dense tissue and breast cancer appear as white on a mammogram. Women with a Volpara D score have very dense breast tissue which makes it harder to detect suspicious looking areas, as they appear similar to the dense tissue. During a mammogram the technologist uses compression to help spread out dense breast tissue and make any hidden cancer more apparent. If a radiologist looks at the images and reports no new areas of concern, your doctor may request a Diagnostic Breast Ultrasound or Automated Breast Ultrasound to supplement your mammogram (a second look, or second check, of the breasts). Mammography is still the gold standard for breast imaging, but, in cases of very dense breast tissue, a second look may be needed.