Breast Implants and Breast Cancer Screening
By: Courtney Floyd
Breast Augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. During the procedure, a saline or silicone implant is placed either above or below the chest muscle resulting in an immediate increase breast size and fullness.
With 1 in 8 women being diagnosed with breast cancer, is important for women who have undergone breast augmentation to know they must continue to follow through with recommended breast cancer screenings.
It is important to know that having breast implants does not increase the risk for breast cancer or significantly hinder breast cancer detection. In fact, a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery concluded that breast cancer staging at the time of diagnosis was similar for women with and without breast implants. The study did find patients with subglandular (above the muscle) implants were associated with more advanced breast tumors found by self-exam or exam by a physician rather than mammogram.
So, what does this mean?
If you have breast implants, you should still get your regular recommended mammograms. Let the imagining tech know you have breast implants so they can take extra care to get the images they need to properly screen you for abnormal changes. It is also important to be familiar with the “new normal” of your breasts after surgery. Performing self-breast exams monthly and visiting your doctor for regular check-ups is also important.
If you have a strong family history of breast cancer, you should discuss this with your plastic surgeon before undergoing breast augmentation surgery. It is important to be well informed of how to properly screen for breast cancer following surgery.