Study Finds Breast Self-Exams Unnecessary

Despite the fact that over 50 percent of women detect their own breast masses, a review of published studies finds no benefit from breast self-exams.

Researchers reviewed two large studies of nearly 400,000 women. They found those who performed self exams had twice as many biopsies that turned out to be negative, compared to women who didn't do the exams.

Experts at The American Cancer Society say their guidelines were changed in 2003 after similar studies were released. They no longer recommend monthly breast self-exams, rather they say women should be informed of the potential risks and benefits of the test.


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  • by scott Location: winterville on Jul 17, 2008 at 07:58 PM
    Of course they do not want you to do self exams. It will cut into their profits. They had much rather you file your insurance or medicaid, medicare and visit doctor office as much as you possibly can. Its big business just like the oil companys.
  • by kathy Location: williamston on Jul 16, 2008 at 10:54 AM
    WITN: Who did this study, anyway? I cannot believe the American Cancer Society would endorse such a bogus report...And if they did, you can bet your bottom dollar I will never support Relay for Life again...

    EDITOR'S NOTE: The study was done by the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • by Nancy Location: Jacksonville on Jul 16, 2008 at 09:27 AM
    This has to be one of the most absurd things they have ever published! I, too, am a breast cancer survivor (5 years). Take it from one who knows...NEVER disregard or ignore any lump or change in your body! The best thing you can find out is that it is nothing - the worst thing is that you could DIE. Don't take the chance! I am very thankful to my doctors and nurses, my radiologist and staff, and to the hospital personnel who provided wonderful care and attention to me throughout my lumpectomy,lateral node biopsy, radiation and continual follow-ups. Without these wonderful people, I would not be here today. (P.S. Dr. Phillipart and his staff in Craven Regional are GREAT! Dr. Howard at Onslow Radiology is GREAT!)
  • by Steve Location: Kinston on Jul 16, 2008 at 08:50 AM
    Seems as if the medical crew has gone nuts. What do they suggest in the place of a self examination? Let me guess--More expensive and continuous procedures that are extremely expensive. Thank God that women are smarter than these "researchers".
  • by Icsha Location: Williamston on Jul 16, 2008 at 08:23 AM
    Kim from Columbia--good advice to all!! Sounds alot like I was saying in my note. I just hope that the younger generation will read this and take it to heart b/c it is absolutely true what you are saying. I say the younger generation b/c I hope that the older women know better.I am also living witness that SBEs are necessary and can save lives
  • by Kim Location: Columbia on Jul 16, 2008 at 07:31 AM
    I can't believe this story. I am living proof self breast exams work. I found a lump when I was 37. I pushed to have it removed even though I was being told it's just a cyst; you're too young for breast cancer. Guess what....I wasn't too young. It was cancer!!! I had two surgeries, 6 rounds of chemo and 33 radiation treatments. This Oct. I will be 4 years cancer free!!! My oncologist told me had I not found the lump and insisted it be removed, no one would have been able to save my life in a matter of a FEW more weeks as it had already broken through the duct it had formed within. I was still 3 years away from having a normal-recommended base line mamaogram. Take from someone who is alive because of the self-exam, continue to do those. A woman knows her own body better than anyone else. Maybe insurance companies pushed this study. You know they hate to pay for tests, especially when they are negative!!! Ladies, take your help litteraly in your own hands and do the exams!!
  • by Anonymous on Jul 16, 2008 at 06:24 AM
    This is truly unreal. I know two women that went for a mammogram and with in less than a month found a lump that was cancer that the mammogram missed. Wonder what drug company paid for that study. If not caught early the patient will need more drugs and more procedures, making it cost more, if they live. Guess it is another case of follow the money. The self test if free, so of course they want you to go for their expensive test.
  • by Penny Location: Merry Hill on Jul 16, 2008 at 06:19 AM
    I am a nurse and cannot believe someone would publish such "research". If SBEs are not harmful then why even do the research? If I had to have 20 biopsies and only one of them comes back positive for cancer it would all be worth it.
  • by Outraged Location: Greenville on Jul 16, 2008 at 05:45 AM
    I am a man and I am disgusted by this story as I wrote earlier. It has me thinking the hypothesis was to suggest self exams were not beneficial. After all who would set out to write a paper supporting the notion of self-exams since it is a common practice. I believe the writers set out to make this idiotic point in hopes of having a controversial report make the news. The researchers should be ashamed.

    Comment Edited.

  • by Tammy Location: Williamston on Jul 16, 2008 at 05:25 AM
    Another thing: What do it hurt for us females to do our own breast exams? Nothing--But, what will it help if you do your own exam and find someting suspicious and have it checked out..You-with ANOTHER Chance at life!! Keep yourselves checked young ladies--please!
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