Breast self examination
Breast self examination is not recommended as a screening method.
The breast self examination (BSE) is a method taught to women that involves visually and physically checking their breasts every month to detect signs or lumps that could indicate breast cancer. Studies have shown, however, that BSE alone does not reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer. Women who are taught BSE therefore do not benefit from it as expected. Moreover, BSE leads to additional unnecessary tests - and more surgeries - for women who use it.
Whether or not they practice BSE, it is important for women who notice changes in their breasts to contact their doctor, even if recent screening mammograms have produced normal results. Screening mammograms may miss some cancers.
The Quebec Breast Cancer Screening Program recommends that women aged 50 to 69 have a screening mammogram every two years.
- If you feel a lump or thickening in your breast
- If you notice a recent nipple discharge or inversion
- If you notice redness, scaliness or any other change in your breast skin
Contact your doctor without delay.