Breast self-exam (BSE) is a step-by-step approach a woman can use to look at and feel her breasts to check for anything abnormal.
However, BSE isn't recommended as a screening tool for breast cancer.
Although it seemed promising when it was first introduced, studies have shown BSE doesn't offer the early detection and survival benefits of other screening tests .
A meta-analysis combined the results of the two largest randomized controlled trials on BSE. It compared women who did routine BSE to those who did not and found :
Although BSE isn't recommended for breast cancer screening, it's important to become familiar with the way your breasts normally look and feel.
Knowing what's normal for you may help you notice a change in your breasts.
Learn more about the warning signs of breast cancer.
Clinical Breast Exam
Breast Cancer Screening Recommendationsfor Women at Average Risk
Breast Cancer 101
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ
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