A 3-year-long study of breast self-examination (BSE) was published by a research team at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. The study involved more than 600 women, aged 40 to 70, who had a negative mammogram screening within the last two months. The women were randomized into two groups: one group that received dietary counseling with no mention of BSE and one group that received a 30 to 45-minute session in which they watched an educational video and practiced BSE on a breast model. All women in the study also received follow-up phone calls at one and two months after the session. Before the intervention about six percent of women in both groups were performing adequate self exams – defined as lasting at least five minutes, occurring every month, and fulfilling specific criteria taught during the counseling sessions. One year after the program, 59 percent of women in the intervention group were performing adequate self-exams, compared to only 12 percent of women who received only dietary counseling.
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