If you are a women who does not do
Self Breast Exams - please read this!!!

 

While the debate about how effective Self Exams are rages on.  Here are some of the predominate opinions out there.  Obviously, if you have had breast cancer, you will have a stronger tendancy to look for cancer when you touch your breasts.  For women who have not had breast cancer, keeping aware of their breast tissue is also recommended.  See what the experts have to say...

From Dr Susan Love's website

Is it necessary to do monthly breast self-exam? 

            

Breast self-exam (BSE) has been widely hailed as a technique that can help women find breast cancer early—with the implication that finding it early will save lives. There's just one problem: No study ever has found that BSE reduces breast cancer deaths. That's why after many years of supporting BSE, the American Cancer Society, in May 2003, revised its breast cancer screening guidelines and now calls BSE optional.

Many women do find their cancers themselves. But very few find them while doing BSE. More typically, the woman just rolled over in bed, or felt a lump while soaping up in the shower, or had it pointed out by a lover.

This is why it is important for women to become acquainted with their breasts, to know what they look like, and to know what lumps and bumps are normal for them. (It's best to do this soaped up in the shower or bath.) But there's a crucial difference between getting acquainted with your breasts and BSE. BSE is like a search-and-destroy mission. It often makes women tense. And it's all about trying to find cancer. In contrast, getting acquainted with your breasts gives you a good, integrated sense of your body, which will help you know when something doesn't feel right. Some women like to do BSE, and that's fine. But no one should be made to feel guilty for not doing it—especially if they are well acquainted with their breasts.

From the American Cancer Society Website

Recommendations for breast self-examination have been updated as well. Previously, the guidelines recommended women perform breast self-exam every month. Now, they recommend that, beginning in their 20’s, women should be told about the benefits and limitations of BSE, and that it is acceptable for women to choose not to do BSE, or to do it occasionally. The importance of promptly reporting changes to a physician is emphasized.

The reason for this change is that research has shown that BSE plays a very small role in detecting breast cancer compared with self awareness. Often, women who do detect their own breast cancer find it outside of a structured breast self-exam; they may detect a lump while showering or getting dressed.

That’s why the emphasis is on self awareness, Saslow said. “When it comes to self-detection, we want women to be aware of what their breasts normally feel like and look like, and to be attuned to any change, and to bring any change to the attention of their doctor right away.”

 

A lot of the breast cancer organizations continue to recommend self exams as there is no other great option for women.  We think this option is a great one.  Learn the techniques, try them and if they work for you, help us spread the word.  It is easy to do, feels great and easy to show your friends.  If you want to teach people, we will do everything we can to support you.  We have a one page handout you can give to people.  We have a DVD people can buy or you can buy it and give it away to your friends... 

Empowered women make empowered choices.  Learn what you can do to be proactive rather than reactive and then help empower other women.



 



 

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