Is Breast Self Examination (BSE) Still Relevant? A Study on BSE Performance among Female Staff of University of Malaya


Objectives: This study aimed to determine the rate of breast self examination (BSE) among the female staffof University of Malaya and to determine the role of BSE in detecting breast abnormalities.
Methods: A total of1598 questionnaires were posted to all female staff, aged 35 years and above. Their knowledge on breast cancer,practice of BSE and detection rate of breast abnormality as confirmed by CBE was determined.
Results: Theresponse rate for this study was 45 percent (714 respondents). The rate of respondents having awareness onbreast cancer was 98.7 percent. Eighty four percent (598) of the respondents had performed BSE in their lifetime.However, in only 41% was it regular at the recommended time. Forty seven percent (334) had undergone CBEat least once in a lifetime but only 26% (185) had CBE at least once in the past 3 years, while 23% (165) hadhad a mammogram. There was a significant relationship between CBE and BSE whereby those who had CBEwere twice more likely to do BSE. Nineteen percent (84 respondents) of those who did BSE claimed they haddetected a breast lump. Of these, 87% (73) had gone for CBE and all were confirmed as such.
Conclusion: BSEis still relevant as a screening tool of breast cancer since those who detect breast lump by BSE will most probablygo for further check up. CBE should be done to all women, especially those at highest risk of breast cancer, toencourage and train for BSE.