Saturday, July 19, 2008

Breast self-exam doesn't reduce breast cancer deaths

A news article in Reuters reports that self-exams does not help to reduce breast cancer deaths and even increases the number of biopsies performed in women.

These data comes from the analysis of two large studies. These documents recommend women to do more than self-exam, for instance, trying to do a mammogram even if you are not in the risk group (women older than 40 years).

The article also establishes that more biopsies were made to women who did self-exams in contrast with women who did not.

I do not believe women should stop doing self-exams to avoid being sent to a biopsy, but I do think that next step from a self-exam shouldn't be necessarily a biopsy. Why not to do mammogram to see if really there is something odd enough to go to the next step?

We all should be really aware of our body and how it is changing in case there's something we can do about it, but doctors need to be more aware of what is the best treatment for a woman going through the suspicion of breast cancer and saving her of unnecessary pain.

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