Study: Breast Self-Exams Don't Improve Cancer Survival

They increase biopsies of benign lumps
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2008 11:55 AM CDT
Study: Breast Self-Exams Don't Improve Cancer Survival
"Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts discovered a lump that turned out to be breast cancer during a self-examination.    (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

(Newser) – Breast self-examinations, long recommended to women to detect early signs of breast cancer, serve no purpose, according to a review of the latest research. WebMD reports that 10-year studies of 388,500 women in Russia and China showed no improvement in survival rates from the self-exams, but revealed an added risk of unnecessary biopsies.

Says one researcher and doctor: "You know what? We've been relying on things that don't work that well, and we really have to start demanding something that works better." So what can women do? The review encourages them to still note any changes in their breasts, and to get medical attention quickly. (Read more breast cancer stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.