Project Runway is here…and should we forget breast self-exams?

Forget the breast self exam?

Forget the breast self exam?

I just finished writing a story for tonight’s newscast at 5 PM…it basically says that women can just forget all about doing self breast examinations looking for lumps…that really it doesn’t change anything, and that you might get an unnecessary biopsy. And indeed, the American Cancer Society changed their guidelines that recommended self exams in 2003 after similar studies. Hmmmm.

I can certainly understand the end conclusion that overall, it doesn’t change the breast cancer death rate. But here’s the thing…I can’t tell you how many women I’ve spoken with over the years who found their own breast cancer, often pretty soon after a clean bill of health from a mammogram or a doctor’s examination. So if they had not discovered this lump and gone back to the doctor and started treatment, would it have made no difference in the end result if they have waited maybe another year?  Maybe, but it’s hard to swallow. It might make no statistical difference when looking at millions of cases, but for that particular case…if it’s you, say…it just might make all the difference in the world.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, I’d say you still need to periodically “stay in touch” with your body. No one knows it better than you do….and I’d rather be that case who found it early and got help, than someone who didn’t and had it found 6 or 8 months later. As Dr. Neil Friedman, the much respected director of The Breast Center at Mercy, told me when we were discussing this very subject after similar studies came out a few years ago….” I think many women find it empowering to do self exams. Are they absolutely necessary? No…but anytime you can take control of your own health, that’s a good thing.” This new study will probably come as a relief for many women who think, “Whew, one less thing to do.” That, I totally get. 

Cleared for landing on Project Runway

Cleared for landing on Project Runway

On a (much) lighter note…..WHO’S READY FOR PROJECT RUNWAY? WHO IS? WHO IS?  That’s right, it’s moi! Tonight…join me… and for those of you who may have never seen this fashion extravaganza (sad, so sad), plus all the hair pulling and knashing of teeth (delicious)….I included a little introductory link above. Enjoy. We’ll talk tomorrow.

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One Response

  1. I have she will be fine and all other breast cancer patients.

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