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. 1992 Nov;47 Spec No:69-74.

The Efficacy of Breast Self-Examination

  • PMID: 1430886

The Efficacy of Breast Self-Examination

K E Grady. J Gerontol. .


Literature related to the efficacy and to the definition and measurement of breast self-examination (BSE) is reviewed with particular attention to its relevance for women over 65. Overall, data on the efficacy of BSE suggest that it has a small but measurable impact on earlier detection of breast cancer as measured by clinical stage and tumor size and sometimes by pathological stage. The largest differences are between some BSE and no BSE. An analysis of BSE suggests that instructions could be simplified for older women in order to increase the reliability and acceptability of the examination. A research agenda is proposed which includes (a) testing BSE instructions tailored for older women, (b) studying the intervening steps between BSE and cancer diagnosis, (c) testing methods to increase acceptance by older women, and (d) investigating the relationship between BSE and earlier detection of breast cancer in older women.

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