Shadyside Place
580 S. Aiken Avenue, Suite 530
Pittsburgh, PA 15232


Archive for December, 2010

Breast Augmentation: What You Should Know About Mammograms, Breast Exams and Breast Cancer

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Does breast augmentation put a patient at greater risk for breast cancer?

Patients with implants—or who are simply considering breast augmentation—can rest easier knowing there is no increased risk of breast cancer with breast implants.

But can breast implants interfere with mammograms?

While the answer is “yes,” these days, most radiologists are very comfortable tailoring the mammogram process specifically to patients with implants.

The radiologist will simply take additional views of the breast and the surrounding tissue. And further good news—patients with implants don’t require more mammograms per year than they did before they had implants.

Do breast implants interfere with timely cancer diagnosis?

Researchers have studied women with implants that have developed breast cancer and compared them to women without implants with similar cancer diagnoses. Here researchers asked the questions:

  • Are women with implants diagnosed with more advanced disease?
  • Does the presence of an implant interfere with a timely diagnosis?

Science available today suggests “no.” Women with breast implants are diagnosed just as quickly, and just as accurately, as women without implants.

Do implant patients tend to view breast health differently?

Yes! Most research studies regarding cancer diagnosis in implant patients are footnoted, with the explanation that women with implants tend to be more breast-conscious than women without implants.

By “breast conscious,” we mean breast augmentation patients are:

  • More likely to show up for their mammogram than women without implants
  • More likely to show up for their doctor’s office appointments than implant-free women.

In our practice, we see our breast implant patients once a year for life. This means, implant patients have a second doctor doing a yearly breast evaluation. Additionally, most of these women are very conscious about self-examination; in fact, one of our post-operative instructions involves breast massage and self-examination. So there are a number of reasons why women with breast implants may be little more savvy about maintaining breast health.

What if a potential implant candidate has a family history of breast cancer? Does this prevent her from having a breast augmentation procedure?

With every potential breast augmentation candidate we see, we look at her history, to determine whether she has had any breast issues or a family history of breast cancer.

These elements are not necessarily contraindications to breast augmentation, but we do feel they’re worthy of discussion. Then, depending on age, we usually obtain a baseline mammogram to fully evaluate the breast before any surgery is performed. If a patient is healthy and their mammogram is normal, then we are able to go ahead with the procedure

Are you considering breast augmentation?

Why not call us and schedule your private evaluation? Breast implants are safe, do not increase cancer risk or tend to delay timely cancer diagnosis, and with a customized plan, they can help you improve how you look and feel. Contact us today.

And for an overview on the Breast Augmentation process, check out our blog post “Finding a Lift Through Breast Augmentation” here.