Breast self-examination. Yes or no?

Authors: P. Šašková;  D. Pavlišta
Authors‘ workplace: Gynekologicko-porodnická klinika 1. LF UK a VFN, Praha přednosta prof. MUDr. A. Martan, DrSc.
Published in: Ceska Gynekol 2016; 81(6): 463-469


The rising number of breast cancer is the worldwide problem. The screening mammography is considered as the most effective method to decrease the mortality of the disease. For many years, the breast self-examination has been promoted as the simplest method for breast cancer development in women. In this review article, we provide the results of studies on the effectiveness of breast self-examination.

Review article.

Departmnet of Gynecologic and Obstetrition, General Faculty Hospital and 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University Prague.

Searching of the original studies and review articles related to brest self-examination.

The breast self-examination does not reduce the breast cancer mortality and is not effective to diagnose cancer at an earlier stage of disease. Also, the frequency of the breast self-examination is not related to the stage of the disease in time of diagnosis. The method leads to the higher attendance of women in mammology consulting rooms, to the higher number of diagnostic mammographies and even to the significantly higher number of performed biopsies with negative (benign) results.

The breast self-examination does not reduce mortality from the breast cancer among the educated women with population risk of developing the disease, despite the practical application of this method on a regular basis. Contrariwise, the breast self-examination rises amount of performed mamography and ultrasound examinations and the number of biopsies with a negative (benign) result.

breast self-examination, BSE, breast cancer, screening of breast cancer


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Paediatric gynaecology Gynaecology and obstetrics Reproduction medicine
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