Despite all the hype surrounding breast self-examinations as a means to save your life, a recent report from Russia’s Nordic Cochrane Center says there is no survival benefit.  By looking at 388,000 women in both Russia and China, researchers found that the same number of women in the self-exam group were diagnosed with breast cancer as the women in the group who did not do self-exams. Also noted was an odd finding: Women who practiced self-exams were more likely to receive biopsies—medical tests involving the removal of cells for examination—many of which turned out not to be cancer.

While the study does not promote self-exams, researchers do suggestwomen pay attention to changes in their breasts–inverted nipples, fluidleaking from the nipples and intense itching—and seek prompt medicaltreatment.

RH says that regardless of this report’s findings, remember that breast exams are up to you and have worked as a breast cancer prevention method for some women. To learn more about breast cancer screening and treatment, visit