Breast size dissatisfaction affects self-examination

January 04, 2018

New research shows that women who are dissatisfied with the size of their breasts are less likely to carry out regular self-examinations to screen for breast cancer.

The findings also show that women with greater breast size dissatisfaction are less confident about detecting a change in their breasts and are more likely to delay seeing their doctor if they did detect a change.

The study of 384 British women, published in the journal Body Image, was carried out by Professor Viren Swami of Anglia Ruskin University and Professor Adrian Furnham of University College London.

The majority of participants reported some degree of breast size dissatisfaction, with 31% wanting smaller breasts and 44% wanting larger breasts, while a third of the women (33%) in the study admitted they rarely or never engaged in breast self-examination.

If they were to detect a change in their breasts, the majority of women (55%) said they would see their doctor immediately or as soon as possible. However, one in 10 admitted they would either delay for as long as possible (8%) or not see their doctor at all (2%).

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Britain and the second most common cause of cancer death. The NHS actively encourages breast awareness. Their advice states that if women have a greater understanding of how their breasts look and feel normally, they are better able to detect any changes.

Viren Swami, Professor of Social Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University and lead author of the study, said: "Our findings suggest that greater breast size dissatisfaction is significantly associated with less frequent breast self-examination, lower confidence in detecting breast change, and greater delay in seeing a doctor following breast change.

"For women who are dissatisfied with their breast size, having to inspect their breasts may be experienced as a threat to their body image and so they may engage in avoidance behaviours. Breast size dissatisfaction may also activate negative self-conscious emotions, such as shame and embarrassment, that results in avoiding breast self-examination.

"Promoting greater breast size satisfaction may be a means of empowering women to incorporate breast self-examinations and breast awareness into their health practice. And promoting greater breast awareness may be a useful means of helping women view their breasts in more functional terms, rather than purely aesthetic terms.

"It is also important for healthcare practitioners to be mindful of the impact that dissatisfaction with one's breasts may have on self-examination behaviours and outcomes."
-end-


Anglia Ruskin University

Related Breast Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

Oncotarget: IGF2 expression in breast cancer tumors and in breast cancer cells
The Oncotarget authors propose that methylation of DVDMR represents a novel epigenetic biomarker that determines the levels of IGF2 protein expression in breast cancer.

Breast cancer: AI predicts which pre-malignant breast lesions will progress to advanced cancer
New research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, could help better determine which patients diagnosed with the pre-malignant breast cancer commonly as stage 0 are likely to progress to invasive breast cancer and therefore might benefit from additional therapy over and above surgery alone.

Partial breast irradiation effective treatment option for low-risk breast cancer
Partial breast irradiation produces similar long-term survival rates and risk for recurrence compared with whole breast irradiation for many women with low-risk, early stage breast cancer, according to new clinical data from a national clinical trial involving researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.

Breast screening linked to 60 per cent lower risk of breast cancer death in first 10 years
Women who take part in breast screening have a significantly greater benefit from treatments than those who are not screened, according to a study of more than 50,000 women.

More clues revealed in link between normal breast changes and invasive breast cancer
A research team, led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, details how a natural and dramatic process -- changes in mammary glands to accommodate breastfeeding -- uses a molecular process believed to contribute to survival of pre-malignant breast cells.

Breast tissue tumor suppressor PTEN: A potential Achilles heel for breast cancer cells
A highly collaborative team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ohio State University report in Nature Communications that they have identified a novel pathway for connective tissue PTEN in breast cancer cell response to radiotherapy.

Computers equal radiologists in assessing breast density and associated breast cancer risk
Automated breast-density evaluation was just as accurate in predicting women's risk of breast cancer, found and not found by mammography, as subjective evaluation done by radiologists, in a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco and Mayo Clinic.

Blood test can effectively rule out breast cancer, regardless of breast density
A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that Videssa® Breast, a multi-protein biomarker blood test for breast cancer, is unaffected by breast density and can reliably rule out breast cancer in women with both dense and non-dense breast tissue.

Study shows influence of surgeons on likelihood of removal of healthy breast after breast cancer dia
Attending surgeons can have a strong influence on whether a patient undergoes contralateral prophylactic mastectomy after a diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.

Young breast cancer patients undergoing breast conserving surgery see improved prognosis
A new analysis indicates that breast cancer prognoses have improved over time in young women treated with breast conserving surgery.

Read More: Breast Cancer News and Breast Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.