In 2012, I made a survey of the mode of discovery of a palpable dominant breast mass among Filipino women.
I made a survey on 30 consecutive Filipino female patients who saw me in my clinic consulting for a breast mass and who turned out to really have a dominant breast mass. I excluded fibrocystic changes and those patients whose breast masses were initially discovered by imaging studies such as mammography and ultrasound.
Out of the 30 patients, 26 were discovered by the patient themselves; 2 by gynecologists; one by a husband; and one by a boyfriend. Thus, majority (87%) were discovered by the female patients themselves. Of these 26, only 2 were practicing regular breast self-examination. The rest (92%) of the breast masses were discovered accidentally.
With majority of the female patients discovering their own breast masses themselves, I recommend continued advocacy of regular (monthly) breast self-examination among the female population. The advantages of doing monthly breast self-examination are early discovery of the breast masses that just pop out of the blue and early detection of breast cancer, it they turn out to be cancer.
See video on How to Do Breast Self-Exam below.