Why Do BSE ?

Why Do Breast Self-Examination (BSE)?

According to the National Cancer Registry (2003-2005), breast cancer is 100 times more common in women than in men and is the number ONE cancer killer of women in Malaysia.

Generally, breast cancer in Malaysian women occurs in the younger age group between 40 and 49 years of age (Hisham and Yip, 2003). However, when younger women are diagnosed, the cancer tends to progress rapidly (Memis, Balkaya and Demirkiran, 2009). Even so, early education on BSE will set a platform for adherence to Breast Self Examination, and mammogram screening later in life.

When breast cancer is diagnosed relatively early, life expectancy and quality of life increase. Early diagnosis also decreases potential for certain symptoms such as pain, resulting in decreased expenses of treatment. (Memis, Balkaya and Demirkiran, 2009)
The cause of breast cancer is unknown. However, the risk factors for developing breast cancer are:

  • Increasing age
  • Family history
  • Early menarche (first menstrual bleeding)
  • Late menopause
  • Late first pregnancy
  • Never breastfed before
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Hormonal replacement therapy
  • Diet rich in fat
  • Exposure to environmental chemicals

Although regular Breast Self Examination (BSE) does not influence mortality from breast cancer, it assists women in detecting benign breast lumps and in creating more awareness about breast changes (Ibrahim & Odusanya, 2009).

Hisham, A.N., & Yip, C.H. (2003). Specturm of Breast Cancer in Malaysan Women: Overview. World Journal of Surgery, 27, 921-923. Retrieved July 14, 2009 from the World Wide Web:

Ibrahim, N.A & Odusanya, O.O. (2000). Knowledge of Risk Factors, Beliefs and Practices of female healthcare professionals towards breast cancer in a tertiary institution in Lagos, Nigeria. BMC Cancer 2009, 1-8. . Retrieved July 14, 2009 from the World Wide Web:

Memis, S., Balkaya, N.A., & Demirkiran, F. (2009). Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Nursing and Midwifery Students Regarding Breast Self-Examination in Turkey. Oncology Nursing Forum, 36, 39-46.