The program

The Québec Breast Cancer Screening Program offers a mammogram every two years to women between 50 and 69 years of age. These women receive a letter in the mail inviting them to make an appointment for a mammogram at a designated screening centre.

Québec Breast Cancer Screening Program | Gouvernement du Québec

To learn more:  

Risk factors

One in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, making it the most common cancer among women. While the causes of breast cancer are still not known, research has identified certain factors that contribute to a statistical increase in risk:

Personal risks:

  • Being a woman
  • Age
  • Diagnosis of atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular neoplasia following a breast biopsy
  • History of breast cancer
  • Having undergone thoracic radiotherapy before the age of 30
  • Highly dense breast tissue
  • Early onset of menstruation 
  • Absence of pregnancy or a late-age pregnancy (after the age of 30)
  • Late onset of menopause (after the age of 55)

Family-related risks:

  • Family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer on both sides of the family 
  • Genetic predisposition to breast cancer (e.g., BRCA1, BRCA2 gene)
  • Being a woman of Ashkenazi Jewish descent

Modifiable risks:

  • Undergoing hormone replacement therapy after menopause
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Obesity, especially after menopause
  • Smoking

Most women who develop breast cancer do not have any of the above-mentioned risk factors. Note, however, that the three most important risk factors are: being a woman, ageing and heredity. 

Screening Method


The mammogram is the only screening method recognized by scientists to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. It has been demonstrated that the risk of dying from breast cancer is reduced by about 40% among women between the ages of 50 to 69 who are screened for breast cancer with a mammogram. 

Moreover, screening can lead to earlier detection of breast cancer, which increases the chances of being able to treat the cancer without major surgery, such as complete breast removal or chemotherapy.

/typo3conf/l10n/fr/rtehtmlarea/Resources/Private/Language/fr.locallang_accessibilityicons.xlf:external_link_new_window_altTextAdvantages, disadvantages and limitations of mammography

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Clinical breast examination

Studies have not been able to conclude that clinical breast examinations are sufficient on their own as a screening method. Clinical breast examinations can be performed by a clinician. It should be performed if a woman observes changes in her breasts.

Breast self-examination is not recommended as a screening method 

Breast self-examination is a method taught to women that involves observing and touching their breasts every month. The objective is to detect a sign or a mass that could indicate the presence of breast cancer. Studies show, however, that this method does not reduce breast cancer mortality.

Nevertheless, women can observe changes in their breasts. If so, it is important that they contact their doctor immediately. This can occur even after a normal mammogram since certain cancers can escape detection with this screening method.

Contact your doctor immediately if: 

  • You feel a mass or a thickening inside your breast,
  • You observe nipple discharge or retraction,
  • You observe redness over one-third of the breast, retraction of the breast skin, eczema or any change in the breast skin.

Screening Services

As of the age of 50, every woman in Québec receives a personalized letter every two years inviting them to take part in the Québec Breast Cancer Screening Program (PQDCS). This letter includes the phone numbers needed to book an appointment for a mammogram at a designated screening centre in their region.

On the day of the exam: 

  • Wear a two-piece outfit,
  • Bring your invitation letter or medical prescription,
  • Bring your health insurance card,
  • Provide the name of the doctor who will receive the mammogram report. If you do not have a doctor, the designated screening centre will provide you with a list of available doctors who can follow up on the examination,
  • Complete the consent form to transmit your personal information, as part of the Québec Breast Cancer Screening Program (the information is kept confidential and is used exclusively for the purposes of the program).

Taking part in the program will allow you to: 

  • Receive a summary of the mammogram results sent by mail to your home (the doctor will receive a more detailed report),
  • Be automatically invited with a reminder letter every two years to book an appointment for a mammogram, until you reach the age of 69,
  • Gain a better understanding of Québec’s breast cancer situation and have access to improved quality of services.

Additional examinations

If the result of the mammogram is abnormal, the doctor may request further investigation, which will require additional examinations that are often offered at a designated investigation referral centre (CRID).

The most common investigation examinations are: 

  • Additional imaging (implant displacement views, close-ups and compressions),
  • Ultrasound, 
  • Biopsy.

IMPORTANT: These examinations are for diagnostic purposes only. They do not mean that the person concerned has cancer. In the Laurentians, the results of these examinations are normal in 90% of cases.

Access to a mammogram for women with reduced mobility

Most designated screening centres offer access to screening mammograms.

Accessibility of each centre in the region for women with reduced mobility (in French only)

Wait Times

To find out the wait times for the designated screening centres in the region: 

/typo3conf/l10n/fr/rtehtmlarea/Resources/Private/Language/fr.locallang_accessibilityicons.xlf:external_link_new_window_altTextWait times for mammograms and other examinations under the Québec Breast Cancer Screening Program (in French only)

Designated Screening Centres (CDD)

To book an appointment for a mammogram: 

Hôpital de Mont-Laurier CDD
Telephone: 819-440-4230
Fax: 819-440-4206

Centre multiservices de santé et de services sociaux d'Argenteuil CDD
Telephone: 450-562-3713
Fax: 450-566-3308

Hôpital de Saint-Jérôme CDD
Telephone: 450-431-8270
Fax: 450-431-8642

Centre multiservices de santé et de services sociaux de Sainte-Agathe (formerly Hôpital Laurentien) CDD
Telephone: 819-324-4036
Fax: 819-324-4067

Centre de Radiologie Imagix Saint-Eustache CDD
210-375, avenue Mathers
Saint-Eustache (Québec) J7P 4C1
Telephone: 514-866-6622
Toll-free: 1-866-916-6622
Fax: 450-473-0240

RadiologiX Saint-Sauveur CDD
70, rue Principale
Saint-Sauveur (Québec) J0R 1R6
Telephone: 514-228-5153. 
Fax: 450-227-7503

Centre de radiologie Imagix Sainte-Thérèse CDD
104-233, rue Turgeon
Sainte-Thérèse (Québec) J7E 3J8
Telephone: 514-866-6622
Toll-free: 1-866-916-6622
Fax: 450-430-7556

RadiologiX Saint-Jérôme CDD
305, rue du Docteur-Charles-Léonard
Suite 102
Sainte-Jérôme (Québec) J7Y 0M9
Telephone : 514-228-5153
Toll-free: 1-833-818-5153
Fax: 514-548-2706 


Designated Investigation Referral Centres (CRID)

Hôpital de Saint-Eustache CRID
Telephone: 450-473-6811, ext. 42480
Toll-free: 1-888-234-3837, ext. 42480
Fax: 450-473-2369

Hôpital de Saint-Jérôme CRID
Telephone: 450-432-2777, ext. 27307
Toll-free: 1-866-963-2777, ext. 27307
Fax: 450-431-8522

Laurentian Regional Service Coordination Centre

If you wish to learn more about the Québec Breast Cancer Screening Program, please contact the Centre de coordination des services régionaux des Laurentides: 

Telephone: 450-432-8728
Toll-free: 1-877-431-SEIN (7346)
Fax: 450-569-6303

Program objectives

The main objective of the Québec Breast Cancer Screening Program is to reduce the number of deaths related to breast cancer by at least 25% over a 10-year period in women between 50 and 69 years of age.

To attain this objective, the program seeks to:

  • Improve early detection of breast cancer in the target population,
  • Reach a participation rate of at least 70% of Québec women between 50 and 69 years of age,
  • Inform and raise awareness about breast cancer among women targeted by the program and allow them to learn about the program,
  • Provide all participants in the screening program with support, follow-up and information,
  • Provide high-quality standards at the designated screening centres (CDDs) and the designated investigation referral centres (CRIDs), in an accessible and reassuring environment,
  • Provide rapid follow-up by reducing wait times between the different steps in the process,
  • Respect the principles of ethics and confidentiality.

The program is regularly evaluated to ensure that it respects the highest quality standards.

Participation Rates

In 2020-2021, the participation rate in the Québec Breast Cancer Screening Program reached 56.7% in the Laurentians compared to the provincial rate of 60%. The year 2020 was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a significant drop in the number of mammograms performed.

Source: SI-PQDCS, INSPQ, as of May 13, 2022.