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.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews July 2008, Issue 3
BBC News July 15, 2008