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.
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 2 largest randomized controlled trials on BSE. It compared women who did routine BSE to those who didn't 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. This may help you notice a change.
Learn about the warning signs of breast cancer.
Learn about what to do if you find a lump.
Learn about breast cancer screening.
Breast Cancer 101
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ
Facts for Life: What is Breast Cancer
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