Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Breast Self-Exam Flunks Test

<P>They Don't Cut Breast Cancer Deaths, but May Increase Unnecessary Biopsies</P>

continued...

Harris doesn't dispute this. "Part of what Dr. Baines is saying is right," he says. "We need trained minds to understand. But training those fingers is darn hard. It is a very hard thing to learn. What's needed is a really excellent physical examination of the breast, whether by the woman or by her doctor. A haphazard exam isn't enough. Training people to do it in the right way is really important."

There are many products on the market designed to make BSE easier. Baines thinks they are, at best, a waste of time and money.

"You have no idea of the number of entrepreneurs who have made things like revolting collapsed balloons full of wet jelly, and women are supposed to lie on their backs like fish and palpate their breasts with them," she says. "These ways to enhance BSE -- do I give them credence? No. The closer your fingers are to your breast, the better."

1|2|3

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
 
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
 
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
VIDEO
Resolved To Quit Smoking
SLIDESHOW
 
Woman getting mammogram
Article
Screening Tests for Women
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
serious woman
Article
 
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow
SLIDESHOW