Breast cancer screening in Canada 2021/2022

About this section

This section describes tests and modalities used in breast cancer screening within Canada, including mammography, tomosynthesis, MRI, ultrasound, and mobile screening clinics.

Modalities for breast screening

breast screening modalities

Mammography is commonly used as the primary screening test for breast cancer and is the screening modality recommended by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.

All provinces and territories, with the exception of NU, perform mammography screening within organized screening programs.

Currently, no provinces or territories recommend clinical breast examinations.

All provinces and territories are currently using digital radiography (DR) equipment to screen individuals. QC is also using computed radiography (CR).

Most mammography screening is occurring in hospital settings. Other locations where screening is taking place are in mobile units, screening centres, and private clinics.

Primary breast screening modalities in Canada: Digital mammography*

Province/Territory  Digital radiography (DR)  Computed radiography (CR) 
YT 
NT 
NU 
BC 
AB 
SK 
MB 
ON 
QC 
NB^ 
NS 
PE 
NL 

*Digital mammography: mammography images are captured and manipulated electronically and includes digital radiography (DR) and computed radiography (CR) systems
NB: ^Province-wide DR mammography as of February 2020


Location where mammography screening is conducted

P/T  Hospital  Screening centre  Private clinic  Community clinic  Mobile unit 
YT 
NT 
NU 
BC 
AB 
SK 
MB 
ON 
QC  ✓*
NB 
NS 
PE 
NL 

QC: *Private imaging centres where breast screening and diagnostic imaging is funded by the government