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Review: limited evidence on regular breast examination does not support its effectiveness for reducing breast cancer deaths

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 Q Does screening for breast cancer by regular breast self examination (BSE) reduce the incidence of breast cancer and death?

METHODS

Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline and the Cochrane Library (October 2002), reference lists, and the specialised register of the Cochrane Breast Cancer Group.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials that included women with no diagnosis of breast cancer and evaluated regular BSE or no regular BSE.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

mortality from breast cancer, total mortality, cancers identified, and biopsies with benign results.

MAIN RESULTS

2 studies (388 535 women) that compared regular BSE with no examination were included. 1 study from St Petersburg, Russia followed women (40–64 y) for 10–15 years. 1 study from Shanghai, China followed women (30–66 y) for 10 years. Results were pooled using a fixed effects model. Breast cancer mortality did …

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