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clinical breast exam, breast cancer screening


The standardization of the clinical breast examination as a screening tool for breast cancer has been a topic of controversy. Current recommendations vary significantly from organization to organization without consensus. There currently does not seem to be sufficient evidence regarding overall survival benefit of the clinical breast exam. However, as adjunct screening with mammography, it may help find earlier breast cancers and the up to 5–10% of cancers missed by mammography. The most appropriate standardized protocol may be that the clinical breast exam can be performed at the discretion of the provider and patient, with more inclination toward use in women in whom the exam carries greater sensitivity.