Is there a right way to check your breasts for early signs of cancer? Many women remain confused as experts now say there is no evidence that rigorous monthly “self-examination” — widely recommended in the United States — reduces breast cancer deaths. Plus, it can lead to unnecessary biopsies.
Two large studies looking at a total of more than 388,000 women found that death rates from breast cancer were the same among women who rigorously self-examined as those who did not, while there were almost twice the number of biopsy operations in the self-examination group.
According to some experts, the best way for a woman to check her breasts is not to follow a strict examination routine, but to get to know what is normal, and feel them regularly for signs of any changes.
BBC News July 15, 2008
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews July 2008, Issue 3