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Breast self-examination (BSE) is an easy but unreliable method for finding possible breast cancer.
If performed appropriately and regularly BSE may help in early detection of some types of breast cancers, although it should not substitute for screening methods (such as mammography) that have been proven to be effective. The method involves feeling breasts for possible distortions or swelling.
Additional recommended knowledge
How to perform BSE
The steps involved in self exam are:
The Seven P's method
A similar method of self-examination is known as the Seven P's of BSE:
For premenopausal women, BSE is best done at the same stage of their period every month to minimize changes due to the menstrual cycle. The recommended time is just after the end of the last period when the breasts are least likely to be swollen and tender. Older, menopausal women should do BSE once a month, perhaps on the first or last day of every month.
About eight in ten lumps discovered by BSE are harmless. Nevertheless, any abnormality thus detected should immediately be reported to a doctor. Though most breast cancers are detected by women, BSE should be combined with an annual examination by a doctor for better chances of detection. Women can easily miss a breast lump that an expert can find. For the same reasons it is better to learn BSE from an expert.
It is not a replacement for more trustworthy techniques like mammography or an examination using MRI.
Note: consult a trustworthy site such as Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Center for more complete and up-to-date information.
Other external links
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Breast_self-examination". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|