Women Confirm that Breast Self-Exams Work

Recent reports disclose that women are able to self-detect potentially fatal breast cancer with their hands, cancer that was missed by mammograms in most cases. At first this may seem surprising or even disruptive of traditional practices, but evidence from biological and clinical science actually supports the women. Hundreds of touch receptors in our fingers comprise an exquisitely sensitive network that learns as fingers palpate by establishing new neural pathways (tactile maps) that recognize complex textures as well as the presence of unusual changes within them. By applying this knowledge to the detection of small breast tumors, MammaCare scientists, with the support  of the National Cancer Institute and National Science Foundation, began the  process of training  every hand that examines a woman, including her own.

I actually found the lump a year earlier while doing a self-breast exam but was told two separate times it was only a cyst. So imagine my surprise when I met with a plastic surgeon at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore for a consult to remove the “cyst” only to be told later it was cancer. – WUSA9

…Like many young breast cancer patients, Sliwerski was blindsided by her diagnosis. She was just 33, the first-time mother of a 3-month-old, Penelope, when she noticed a lump in her left breast. A month later, she learned she had invasive breast cancer. – Chicago Tribune 

Harris said early detection of breast cancer is key. She is a fitness enthusiast and was familiar with her body when she noticed a lump that turned out to be cancerous. – MRT 

Knight had recently been screened but noticed a painful lump during a self-breast exam in early February. She put it off seeing the doctors for a couple of weeks, expecting it to be benign like the others she had found….Knight urges everyone, especially those with family history, to seek regular screenings, conduct breast exams and act quickly when something doesn’t feel right. – Lancaster Reagle Gazette 

As Amber Pritchett was doing a breast self-examination in early spring, she found a lump…The 33-year-old human resources employee at Mercer University didn’t think much of it since no one in her family had breast cancer…“It’s probably nothing to worry about. Probably just dense breast tissue,” the doctor told her….Her malignant tumor was four to five centimeters, or nearly two inches in diameter, when she was diagnosed Aug. 28. – Miami Herald 

I had a mammogram seven months before I found the lump, and it was all clear,” the Seneca Falls resident remembered. “I was getting ready for a trip to Honduras. I brushed (the lump) off. It wasn’t painful, so I went on the vacation. – Fit Times 

Although Stewart was only 35 and had no family history of breast cancer, the conversation with her daughter encouraged her to do a self-exam. The lump she found in her left breast was cancerous.” – The Pilot 

Turns out she was thirty-seven when she first felt the lump in her breast. She made an appointment with her local doctor, who passed it off as nothing, and continued to say it was nothing for two years—even though it kept getting bigger. – New Yorker 

The speaker at Monday’s Breast Cancer Awareness Ceremony urged others to regularly do self-breast exams. In Vicki Mathess’ case, her self exam – done in between her yearly mammograms – led to her diagnosis of stage two breast cancer. “I had a mammogram two months before and the mammogram was negative,” she said. “In two months, through a self exam, I discovered a lump. – The Record Delta 

I actually found the lump a year earlier while doing a self-breast exam but was told two separate times it was only a cyst. So imagine my surprise when I met with a plastic surgeon at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore for a consult to remove the “cyst” only to be told later it was cancer. – WUSA9 

I had found a mass in my right breast due to my favorite bra didn’t fit. I hand wash all of my bras so I know it wasn’t cause my bra had shrunken. By doing a self-exam I found a golf size lump in my breast, said Edwards – KGUN9 

Three weeks ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I could only feel the lump whilst lying down and it completely disappeared [when I was] standing up. – Self 

Findings published in the Journal of Women’s Health: “Despite increased use of screening mammography, a large percentage of breast cancers are detected by the patients themselves. Patient-noted breast abnormalities should be carefully evaluated. – NCBI