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Zhonghua Zhong Liu Za Zhi. 2005 Jun;27(6):350-4.

[Randomized trial of breast self-examination in 266,064 women in Shanghai].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Epidemiology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200052, China.



A randomized trial of breast self-examination (BSE) program was carried out to evaluate whether the intensive BSE can reduce the death number of women from breast cancer.


A total of 266,064 women (age of 30 to 64 years) associated with 519 textile factories in Shanghai had been randomly assigned to a BSE instruction group (132,979 women) or a control group (133,085 women) since 1989. Initial instruction in BSE group included demonstration of proper palpation techniques. It was followed by 2 reinforcement sessions during the subsequent 4 years including video shows, BSE instruction sessions and BSE practice under medical supervision. These activities were continued for 5 years. Attendance at all events was recorded. The cohort was followed through July 2000 for development of breast diseases, and the breast cancer cases were followed up through 2001 for vital status. The data analysis methods used included Kaplan-Meier plots, Log-rank test and Cox modeling.


Among women under instruction, 864 breast cancers were detected and 133 breast cancer deaths occurred, and 896 breast cancers were detected and 130 deaths recorded in the control group. The tumor size (P = 0.07), TNM stage (P = 0.39) and cumulative breast cancer mortality rate (P = 0.72) were not significantly different between the 2 groups. However, more and smaller fibroadenomas were detected in the instruction group than in the control group (P < 0.01).


Intensive instruction in BSE can not reduce mortality rate of breast cancer, but more and smaller benign breast lumps can be detected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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