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Women Ten Times More Likely To Do Breast Self-Exams Correctly With Intervention Program, Kaiser Permanente Study Finds
Date:4/29/2009

Researchers conclude that intervention can be modified to teach self-screening techniques for other cancers.

PORTLAND, Ore., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A brief intervention program - consisting of one counseling session and two follow-up phone calls - boosted by tenfold the number of women correctly performing breast self-exams. These are the findings of a Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Funded by the National Cancer Institute, this study is one of the first to show intervention programs can be effective in increasing breast self-exams. Most previous studies have failed to show an increase in the number of women conducting BSEs correctly.

This intervention program is a model that can be used to encourage patients' participation in their own health care, and can be modified to educate patients about other self-screening techniques for cancers such as melanoma and testicular cancer, say the researchers.

"Many women avoid breast self-exams because they are worried about doing them correctly; however, our study showed that with a relatively simple intervention, women can learn the proper technique, and once they feel confident they will continue to do their exams," said Nangel Lindberg, Ph.D., lead author and investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore. "This is an excellent opportunity for women to participate in their own health care. Self-exams allow women to become familiar with their breasts, so they can report any changes to their health care provider. "

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. Every year, more than 1 million cases are diagnosed around the world, including more than 200,000 in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 40,000 American women will die this year from breast cancer.

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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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