Review doubts value of breast exams
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 11, 2008
A review of the literature on breast self-exams found no evidence that the self-exams actually reduce breast cancer deaths.
The new review released July 15 by the Cochrane Collaboration, an independent organization that reviews health interventions, found that the practice could do more harm than good by leading to nearly twice as many biopsies that turned up no cancer in women who do the exams compared with women who do not.
Although reviewers do not recommend it, they acknowledged that women may want to continue the exams. They urged women to "seek medical advice if they detect any change ... that might be breast cancer."
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/08/11/hlbf0811.htm.