Were all those years of feeling ourselves up for naught? A new study shows that breast self-exams might not actually reduce cancer deaths. "In fact," MSNBC reports, "the often-recommended monthly chore may even do more harm than good, according to the group's analysis of a pair of studies of nearly 400,000 Chinese and Russian women." Dr. David B. Thomas, a breast epidemiologist and author of the study, explains that self-exams often just lead to biopsies of benign tumors, aka unnecessary surgical procedures. "If a woman is highly motivated - let's say her mother or sister has been diagnosed with breast cancer - then of course she should practice breast self-exam," Thomas notes. "But that's a different situation than trying to reach women on a mass scale. Our study shows that that's probably a waste of time. You're not going to get women sufficiently motivated to practice it well enough and frequently enough to make that big of a difference." [MSNBC]