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Male Doctors Less Likely To Give Physical Breast Exams

Male doctors are less likely than their female colleagues to give women physical breast exams, a study has found.

That is a problem because a physical exam can find signs of trouble that mammograms, or breast X-rays, miss, said the authors of the study in this week’s Archives of Internal Medicine.

“Women may be more comfortable doing clinical breast exams,” said researcher Dr. Karen Freund.

The study examined the cases of 100 women over age 50 at Boston University Medical Center. The women were seen by 43 physicians - 28 men and 15 women.

Ninety-five percent of the patients seen by women received both a manual breast exam and a mammogram. Just 67 percent of patients seen by men got both.