Canadian Panel Recommends Halt to Self-Exams For Breast Cancer

10:00 AM, Jun 26, 2001   |    comments
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A Canadian medical panel sees no need for breast self-exams by women in the highest-risk age group for breast cancer.

The recommendations by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care contradict advice that women have been getting for years. U.S. and Canadian women have been told regular self-exams for unusual growths can be crucial to early detection.

But the group, which advises Canadian doctors, says women ages 40 to 69 should no longer be taught how to do the exams. It says evidence shows the checks do little to save lives, adding the exams can turn up lumps which scare women but which are harmless.

Doctors then have to do tests that show the lumps are harmless.

The director of cancer screening for the American Cancer Society questions the conclusion. He says anything that can reduce the death rate even a little should be done.

The study is in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

KARE11 sponsors a program, Buddy Check 11, that continues to encourage monthly self exams.

(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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