Washington DC: A study has recently revealed that women who are unhappy 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 these women were less confident about detecting a change in their breasts and more likely to delay seeing their doctor if they did detect a change. The research was carried out by Viren Swami of Anglia Ruskin University in in Cambridge, England and Professor Adrian Furnham from the University College London. The team examined 384 British women. The results indicated that majority of participants reported some degree of breast size dissatisfaction, with 31 percent wanting smaller breasts and 44 percent wanting larger breasts, while a third of the women (33 percent) in the study admitted they rarely or never engaged in breast self-examination. If they were to detect a change in their breasts, 55 percent 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 percent) or not see their doctor at all (2 percent). 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. Lead author Swami said that the 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.
Breast size dissatisfaction may also activate negative self-conscious emotions, such as shame and embarrassment, that results in avoiding breast self-examination, they noted.