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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?


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.


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 …

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  • A modified version of this abstract appears in Evidence-Based Medicine.

  • For correspondence: Dr J P Kösters, Nordic Cochrane Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • Source of funding: no external funding.