Check these out! After you watch the Good Health Fairy and her friends dance their way through the steps of a breast self-exam (BSE), maybe you’ll be inspired to check yours out, too.
In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force altered its guidelines for mammograms [Younger Women Need Mammograms, Says New Study] and recommended against teaching BSE. Not all experts agree with that recommendation.
Breastcancer.org and Beyond Boobs! still recommend BSE as an important screening tool in an overall breast health strategy. Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society no longer recommend monthly BSE for all women, but each organization advises women to get to know how their breasts normally look and feel.
“At Beyond Boobs!, we like to say, ‘If you are old enough to have them, you are old enough to check them,’” says Mary Beth Gibson, the organization’s Executive Director. “Befriend your breasts, and as you would with any good friend, spend time together, get to know one another well, and be tuned in so you know and can respond if something doesn’t seem right.”
As a breast cancer survivor who found her own lump, I favor BSE. Since knowing our own bodies IS recommended, what better way to do that than with BSE? By repeating it every month, we raise the likelihood that we’ll notice changes early on. What better time to begin than during Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Go on — check ‘em out!