Magazine article Drug Topics

Kit Promises Women Sensible Approach to Breast Self-Exams

Magazine article Drug Topics

Kit Promises Women Sensible Approach to Breast Self-Exams

Article excerpt

Writers are always receiving samples of things, and when Mary Gorman received a breast self-examination pad for a story, she was anxious to try the product, especially since her sister was being treated for breast cancer. With the help of the aid, she discovered a tiny lump in her breast that her doctor subsequently determined was cancerous. Gorman was frightened, certainly, but also surprised; she had had a mammogram only four months prior to using the breast self-exam aid. "It saved my life," she said recently, talking about the kit. "At least, that's what my doctor told me."

The pad, formerly known as the Sensor Pad (Drug Topics, June 24, 1996) and marketed by Inventive Products Inc. in Decatur, Ill., received Food & Drug Administration clearance for prescription use in 1995 and for OTC use in 1997. Initially, as an OTC, it was offered on the Internet and distributed at some clinics. After reaching a licensing and distribution agreement with Inventive Products in 1998, BD (formerly Becton Dickinson), Franklin Lakes, NJ., has started rolling out the B-D Sensability Breast Self-Examination Aid to drugstores and chains nationwide. The kit includes a pad, an educational video in English and Spanish, and a multilingual instruction guide, with illustrations.

The pad consists of two thin, round, latex-free plastic sheets 10 inches in diameter, with a liquid lubricant sealed between them. This design is intended to reduce friction, making it easier for a woman's fingers to glide smoothly across her breast during a self-exam. The pad is placed over the breast and should be held using the small, plastic handle. A woman conducts a breast self-examination (BSE) using the pad and the free hand.

The reusable pad comes in one size only and can be cleaned with a wet cloth. The cost is $29.99, and there is a $5 mail-in rebate being offered as well as a five-year warranty.

Cheryl Biron, senior marketing manager for BD Consumer Healthcare, told Drug Topics that an omnibus study conducted by Telenation found that only 29% of women do a breast self-exam every month or more than one time a month.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 175,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 1999. …

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