SELF BREAST EXAMSks_wsid = 0;
Women have been taught to view their breasts as a disease waiting to happen. Most women fear and lack knowledge about their bodies. Why did that government panel turn a thumbs down to teaching women breast self-examination—a low-tech, simple way to check for breast cancer?
QUIT CHECKING YOUR BREASTS HONEY
Why did that government panel turn a thumbs down to teaching women breast self-examination—a low-tech, simple way to check for breast cancer?
Doctors were advised by the panel, not to teach women to examine their own breasts, saying self breast checks lead to more imaging procedures and biopsies, and did not reduce cancer deaths. The committee asserted there is not enough evidence to recommend doctors teach women to do self examinations
Doing self-examinations was taking responsibility and ownership of the woman's body more than anything else. It proved she was independent, self-sufficient and knowledgeable. Knowledge was power and women believed in that.
In the past we taught women about the importance of being familiar with their bodies. Today we are telling younger women not to bother doing self-examinations.
If it doesn't cost much other than a few minutes of a doctor's time, and it doesn't hurt, and might catch something, why not do it?
SELF EXAMINATION NOT COST EFFECTIVE
Breast self exams are inexpensive and noninvasive. There is no radiation as in mammography. You can do it in your own home, lying down in bed or between your checkups or mammograms. You don't even need insurance because they're free, so why not do it?
Everyone learned the self-examination drill. Once a month, after your period, use the finger pads of the middle three fingers to check your breasts. Raise your arm and make sure to check under the armpits. Look in the mirror for any dimpling changes.
Do breast self examination really lead to earlier detection? Do they save lives? What's the bottom line?
Examination can yield lesions that, when recognized and worked up, can prevent death and disease. If it only provides vital information, and costs nothing why is that not important to doctors and health professionals?
PANEL REASONING FOR ITS DECISION ON SELF EXAMS
Two studies, one in Russia and one in China, are quoted by the panel in reaching its decision on self breast examinations to recommend that self breast examinations should be abandoned. These trials did not question the quality of the trials and whether they're applicable to women in North America work cancer treatment is much more superior than in China and Russia.
IN THE CHINA STUDY, after 10 years, breast cancer deaths were the same in the group who did self-examinations and the group which did not. The committee did not even know how well and how often the women actually did the breast examinations. (Dr. David Thomas, a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who led the Shanghai trial)
IN THE RUSSIAN STUDY, self-examinations resulted in more tumors, including malignant cancerous ones, and detected some cancers earlier, but still the death rates were not significantly different.
At the time of the RUSSIAN STUDY, this trial was done, 40% of Russian women died with breast cancer in four years. The trial was poorly financed and executed. The task force did not give these findings much weight.
The women had not been trained well, and they didn't carry breast self-examinations out well( Dr. Anthony Miller, a Canadian researcher who was the World Health Organization’s scientific adviser for the Russian study).
CHANGING WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE
Women have been taught to view their breasts as a disease waiting to happen. Most women fear and lack knowledge about their bodies.
If a woman has a lumpy breast, she might spend half her time at the doctor's office being panicky. Certainly women shouldn't spend their lives in fear that their bodies are time bombs and they are in constant imminent danger.
Getting screened or not screened for breast cancer is a gamble. There is no right answer, but there is statistical guidance.
Where mammograms are done infrequently, as in Canada and Britain, breast cancer mortality rates are much higher. 88% higher in Britain, and 9% higher in Canada. Once we have government run healthcare, perhaps we will match these statistics.
There's only so much a woman can do to protect herself against breast cancer. Science and medicine must figure out why some cancerous lesions kill women and some don't. The panel never gave a list of other alternative things women can do.
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