Breast self-examination (BSE)
A breast self-examination (BSE) is a simple way of detecting changes in the breasts.
Sometimes, these changes could indicate malignanacy; therefore BSE could well be a life- saving procedure that helps to detect breast cancer at an early stage. It may be carried out once in a month.
Expert opinion is, however, divided over this suggestion. The American Cancer Society, which for years has maintained that all women do BSE, now recommend that all women above age 40 do a yearly mammogram while BSE is optional.
However, BSE needs to be carried out properly after being guided by an expert.
A recent trial study in Shanghai, China, that involved more than 250,000 women did not indicate that BSE helped to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths.
The following is a list of potential conditions that present as breast lumps and how they “feel”-
- Cysts - When lumps feels smooth, squishy, move around or change size.
- Pseudo-lumps- When the lumps are hard to feel, not easily movable and does not change size or shape.
- Fibroadenomas - When the lumps are round and firm and move around during BSE.
- Breast cancer - When the lump has an irregular shape (not round) with a pebble-like surface, hard and immovable.