With the constant deluge of advice on breast cancer screening, it can be confusing for women to know what to do. Should mammograms remain an increased staple or should self and clinical exam become more consistently recommended? The British Medical Journal recently published a large study that showed no difference in death rate between women who have a yearly mammogram and clinical breast exam over a long period of time. Click https://https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/17/a-fresh-case-for-breast-self-exams/ to read more about the study as described in the New York Times.
Dr. Jennifer Walden recently sat down with KXAN News to talk about how to balance all the information and to help women sort out some of the information on breast cancer screening .
In the video, Dr. Walden advocates both mammogram as well as clinical and self breast exam. Mammograms work especially well in detecting “silent non-palpable lesions,” says Dr. Walden. Dr. Walden’s own mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and mammography screening was key for early detection and was indeed a life-saving measure. So mammograms are key in any woman’s breast cancer screening strategy.
However, don’t underestimate the importance of self breast exams. “We should not ever debunk the importance of a self breast exam,” Dr. Walden says. Clinical breast exams done by your MD at the same time of the month each year are clearly also a recommended way to stay safe.
Self breast exam is also a great way for women to become more aware of themselves. Dr. Walden says, “A woman knows her own breasts the best.”