If you have symptoms of breast cancer, or if a mammogram shows something suspicious, you will be referred to a hospital for specialized tests. This testing will be in Yellowknife or Edmonton depending on the type of test needed. There are two main types of tests and you may need more than one depending on your symptoms and the test results.

Diagnostics Imaging

This is where sophisticated medical machinery takes pictures of what is happening inside the breast. There are three types:

  • Mammogram
  • Ultrasound
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

For. more information in these specific tests, visit the Canadian Breast Cancer Network


A small piece of the breast tissue suspected of having cancer is removed and then analysed in a laboratory. It is the way to be absolutely certain if cancer is present and what type of cancer it is. There are two basic types of biopsy:

  • Needle biopsy
  • Surgery

For everyone, having these tests can cause worry and anxiety. You wonder what the test itself will be like, how you will feel afterwards and what the results will be. Questions might arise like: what will the tests be like; what will the results be; will the medical professionals be helpful?  For many Northern women, there is also the anxiety of traveling far from home for treatments, of being alone, and wondering how your family are coping without you.

Feeling anxious and worried at this point is normal. You are not alone, there are resources and people to help you along this journey.  Remember to breathe and read on.