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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

aiser Permanente Center for Health Research study, conducted from 1998 through 2001, involved more than 600 women, aged 40 to 70, who had a negative mammogram screening within the last two months. The women were randomized to a group that received dietary counseling with no mention of BSE, or the study group that received a 30 to 45-minute counseling session in which they watched an educational video, practiced BSE on a silicone model, and discussed possible barriers to doing self-exams. At one and two months after the session, the women also received follow-up phone calls. Before the intervention about six percent of women in both groups were performing adequate self-exams - defined as lasting at least five minutes, occurring every month, and fulfilling specific criteria taught during the counseling sessions. One year after the program, 59 percent of women in the intervention group were performing adequate self-exams, compared to only 12 percent of women who received dietary counseling.

Early detection is an important factor in the success of breast cancer treatment. While some studies have shown that BSE does not reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer, it may help familiarize women with their normal breast tissue -which aids in identifying new or unusual changes in their breasts. Many experts believe along with regular mammography and clinical breast exams BSE can play an important role in early detection.

Study limitations include the fact that the results are based on self-reported data, and that all the participants in the study had health insurance, so results may not be applicable to populations without health insurance.

Authors include Nangel M. Lindberg, Ph.D., Victor J. Stevens, Ph.D., and K. Sabina Smith, BA, all of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.; Russell E. Glasgow, Ph.D., Kaiser Permanente in Denver; and Deborah Toobert, Ph.D., the Oregon Research Institu
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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