Why aren’t breast self-examinations as encouraged as they used to be?

Breast self-examinations are not as encouraged as they used to be because there is a discrepancy among guidelines regarding breast self-examinations. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against women performing regular breast self-exams because research has shown them to cause more harm than good. Finding a lump may lead to mammograms, biopsies and surgery. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends the self-check. You should discuss the risks and benefits with your family physician, who can teach you how to perform a breast exam.
Breast self-examinations for are no longer strenuously recommended for a number of reasons, says Cathy Cole, a nurse navigator with Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center. In this video, she says that self-examination still does play a role, however.

Continue Learning about Breast Cancer Prevention

Eat This to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Eat This to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Considering the blood sugar, cholesterol, digestive and appetite-controlling effects of fiber, who wouldn't sing its praises? Well, get ready to hum a...
Read More
How can I help protect myself against breast cancer?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
You can do plenty to detect, survive and prevent breast cancer.Regular breast-cancer screenings (sta...
More Answers
How can I prevent HER2-positive breast cancer?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
There's no way to guarantee you won't develop HER2-positive breast cancer—or any type of breast canc...
More Answers
Dr. Janelle Sanda - How can breast cancer be prevented?
Dr. Janelle Sanda - How can breast cancer be prevented?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.