How are monthly breast self-exams (BSE) helpful?

Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health
There are a number of professional organizations related to women's health. Members of these organizations review scientific literature to formulate evidence based guidelines on caring for women. None of the many guidelines currently recommend self breast exam. When the research was reviewed, the self breast exam was not shown as an accurate method to detect cancer, no breast cancer deaths had been prevented and self-exam had a high incidence of causing anxiety in women who felt normal breast changes. At the same time, those of us who have cared for women over the years can always remember a patient who found a lump that resulted in detecting a cancer. If you want to do self breast exams, ask your clinician to show you the best method.
Jamie L. Caughran, MD
Monthly breast self-exams (BSE) allow you to become familiar with what is normal for you. In this video, Jamie Caughran, MD, FACS, of Mercy Health, explains how noticing changes in breast tissue plays a role in diagnosing breast cancer.

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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.