Ladies: Do you check yourself? If so, how often?
Do you perform self breast exams? If so, when did you start and how often do you do it?
I was browsing the Susan J. Komen website and was surprised to discover that self exams are not recommended as a screening tool for breast cancer. It’s states that a meta-analysis of women showed that the survival rates for women who performed self exams were no different than the ones for women that did not. In fact, more false positives and benign biopsies resulted from self exams.
I was also surprised to find that it is recommended that women 20–39 only need a clinical breast exam about every three years. I thought it would be recommended yearly.
What do you think about the effectiveness of self exams and how often young women should get clinical breast exams?
My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 73. It was found on a mammogram. After they found the lump, my grandma tried to find it herself and couldn’t. It wasn’t all that advanced, but it was bad enough that she had to receive a mastectomy and chemo. The doctors said the lump was the size of a grain of sand. It seems that by the time you can feel a lump, you’re screwed. I have an irrational fear of breast cancer, which is made worse by the fact that I often have breast pain and I have issues with anxiety. I don’t do self exams, though, because I know I’ll be at my doctor every other month because I think I feel something that isn’t there or is completely normal. Frankly, I can’t afford to do that. I’m 24 and I’ve been getting annual breast exams since I was 18. I always try to convince myself to start checking my breasts every month, but I never do. So, this research actually made me feel a bit better.
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.