Breast self-exam as accurate as MRI for young, high-risk women

Breast self-exam as accurate as MRI for young, high-risk women: study
(Medscape) UPDATED 2009-04-26
A small new study suggests that breast self-exams may be as accurate as mammograms and MRI when it comes to detecting tumors in young, at-risk women. Previous studies have led experts to stop recommending monthly breast self-exams for all women, but a study of 147 women at Duke University found they had some merit. After three years, the number of masses found that turned out to be cancerous was approximately the same for women who had found them by self-exam and those found by technological methods.

The full article is available online at:

Breast Self Exam (BSE) is a confusing issue for women and one that needs attention. As a mammographer, I talk to many women who don’t know what to do about BSE; this in itself creates anxiety. Health care providers claim that if women do BSE, they create anxiety for themselves if they think they have a lump, and create unnecessary workups which overload the health care system. It’s my understanding that most breast cancers are initially found by women themselves, so why not teach them how to do BSE properly.

The article above includes this statement:

Breast self-exam should be emphasized and well taught to high-risk women.

I think the idea of BSE being well taught to all women is the key to good breast health. If we would teach girls in high school to do BSE, and do it properly, then we would avoid many issues that cause controversy. Young girls hear about breast cancer and develop fears they don’t know how to handle. By teaching women of all ages how to do a proper BSE, we would eliminate many fears and reduce false negative and false positive exams.

It doesn’t cost anything to do BSE and it could save many health care dollars by adding to the prevention and early detection of breast cancer.


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2 Responses to “Breast self-exam as accurate as MRI for young, high-risk women”

  1. How I Lost Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days Says:

    Hi, nice post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for writing. I will definitely be subscribing to your blog.

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