For close to 45 years breast self-examination (BSE) has had nearly uncontested support as depicted in mass media accounts.
Just recently, however, a number of breast cancer activists have spoken out against the practice.
They claim that BSE is oppressive and fosters victim blaming, which simply is not in the best interests of women.
Judging by the media reports I reviewed, these activists may have a valid point.
The discourse of the popular media articles that constitutes the issue of BSE for the average woman blames women for not doing their part to reduce high breast cancer mortality statistics, establishes the locus of all reasons for refraining from the activity with the woman, and chastises these women for failing to engage in the activity.
Moreover, in addition to being an agency-robbing discourse, these media reports provide minimal (if any) substantive rationale that there is any benefit to BSE.
It appears, then, that women are subjected to an agency-robbing discourse and, as it is currently enacted, practice for what appears to be little reason.
However, this does not mean that BSE is an inefficacious means of early detection or that women cannot be empowered by participating in the discursive process and the physical act itself.
Rather, in the discussion of this essay I provide a number of suggestions for reforming BSE rhetoric such that it facilitates a more therapeutic and individually empowering self-help activity.
Mots-clés Pascal : Exploration clinique, Glande mammaire, Diagnostic, Précoce, Tumeur maligne, Evaluation, Enquête opinion, Homme, Femelle, Article synthèse, Glande mammaire pathologie, Autoexamen
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Clinical investigation, Mammary gland, Diagnosis, Early, Malignant tumor, Evaluation, Opinion inquiry, Human, Female, Review, Mammary gland diseases
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 99-0349863
Code Inist : 002B20E02. Création : 14/12/1999.