The following blog on Breast Self Examination (BSE), was going along fine, until I went to my faithful Wikipedia, which surprised me to read the following:
BSE was once promoted heavily as a means of finding cancer at a more curable stage, but large randomized controlled studies found that it was not effective in preventing death, and actually caused harm through needless biopsies and surgery.
Breast awareness is an informal alternative to structured breast self-examinations.According to a meta-analysis in the Cochrane Collaboration, two large trials in Russia and Shanghai found no beneficial effects of screening by breast self-examination "but do suggest increased harm in terms of increased numbers of benign lesions identified and an increased number of biopsies performed." They concluded, "At present, screening by breast self-examination or physical examination cannot be recommended."
Although breast self-examination increases the number of biopsies performed on women, and thus revenue for the breast cancer industry, it does not reduce mortality from breast cancer. In a large clinical trial involving more than 260,000 female Chinese factory workers, half were carefully taught by nurses at their factories to perform monthly breast self-exam, and the other half were not. The women taught self-exam detected more benign (normal or harmless lumps) or early-stage breast disease, but equal numbers of women died from breast cancer in each group.
(to read more go to :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast_self-examination )
I only know that in my case, a self discovered lump in my left breast was reason enough to be sent for more tests which resulted in finding a cancerous lump in the right breast that was never felt by self-examination. My girlfriend, a doctor who has female clinics, strongly suggests that women self examine. I still perform BSE monthly.If you want to know more about it, keep reading:
- In 2010, an estimated 23,200 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer, an increase of (500) from 2009. On average, 445 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every week.
- Estimated number of new cases of breast cancer in females by age:
- 6,600 breast cancer cases diagnosed in women 70+
- 5, 800 breast cancer cases diagnosed in women 60-69
- 6,200 breast cancer cases diagnosed in women 50-59
- 3, 500 breast cancer cases diagnosed in women 40-49
- 950 breast cancer cases diagnosed in women under the age of 40