- Medical experts disagree about the need for regular breast self-examinations. Some doctors still encourage regular BSE. But it is unknown if breast self-examinations are helpful in finding breast cancer.
- An apparently normal breast self-examination does not rule out breast cancer. Breast self-examinations should not replace regular clinical breast examinations by a doctor and mammograms.
- If you have a breast lump that you are concerned about, see your doctor to determine the cause. Remember, most breast lumps are not caused by cancer. A breast biopsy may be needed to fully evaluate a breast lump.
- A pad, the breast self-examination (BSE) pad, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as an aid in breast self-examination. The sensor pad is made of two layers of plastic with a small amount of liquid silicone inside. It is supposed to make breast lumps easier to detect by reducing the amount of rubbing (friction) between the fingers and the breast skin. The sensor pad is available without a prescription at many pharmacies.
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