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N Engl J Med. 1978 Aug 10;299(6):265-70.

Breast self-examination practices and breast-cancer stage.


To determine the relation between breast self-examination performance and the clinical and pathological stage of breast cancer at first diagnosis, we studied 335 patients with breast cancer. Approximately one fourth of the patients reported that they had been practicing monthly breast self-examination, and half that they had never practiced breast self-examination. More frequent performance of breast self-examination was associated with more favorable clinical stage and fewer axillary-lymph-node metastases on histologic examination. On pathological examination, the age-adjusted maximum tumor diameter of patients practicing monthly breast self-examination was 1.97 +/- 0.22 cm (mean +/- S.E.M.) as compared to 2.47 +/- 0.20 for those performing self-examination less often than monthly and 3.59 +/- 0.15 for patients never performing breast self-examination. These data associating more favorable clinical and pathological stages of breast cancer with more frequent breast self-examination need to be extended by determination of the survival rates of the various self-examination groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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