If breast cancer runs in my family, should I opt for saline implants? Why or why not?
Are Saline Implants Less Likely to Cause Breast Cancer Than Silicone Implants?
Doctor Answers (10)
Breast Implants and Cancer
As of this writing, there are no studies that show an increase in placement of breast implants, (saline or silicone), and breast cancer.
Web reference: http://www.jjrothmd.com/procedures/breast-augmentation
Breast Implants and Mammograms
Mammography can still be performed with breast implants in place. Mammography technicians are trained to use specialized techniques for women with breast implants that help to image the breast tissue around the curved surface of the implants. Be sure to let the mammography provider know that you have breast implants when you schedule your mammogram.
It is not possible to obtain a mammogram by imaging through the implants, only around them. Breast implants therefore potentially do reduce a radiologist's ability to visualize breast tissue completely. This is more of a concern with implants placed immediately behind the breast ('sub-mammary', aka 'sub-glandular' position), so for that reason the sub-pectoral position is strongly preferred.
There is no conclusive evidence which shows that women with breast implants are diagnosed with breast cancer at a later stage than women without implants - which one would expect if breast implants actually delayed the detection of breast cancer. Likewise, women with breast implants do not appear to have a higher mortality rate from breast cancer compared to women without breast implants. Breast implants do not obscure or interfere with patient self-examination or physician breast examination, which are at least as important as (if not more important than) mammography for breast cancer screening.
Mammography is currently the recommended mass screening test for breast cancer, but it has significant limitations due to a high number of false positives (which leads to biopsies when no cancer is actually present) and false negatives (which means a cancer is missed when it is present). The most sensitive and specific radiologic test for breast cancer is a contrast-enhanced MRI scan, which refers to an MRI that is enhanced by the administration of an intravenous 'contrast' agent. The contrast agent helps to 'light up' a breast cancer on the MRI scan when one is present. Breast implants do not interfere with breast MRI scanning in any way.
Web reference: http://michaellawmd.com
There are many scientific studies that show that neither silicone or saline implants cause breast cancer.
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Breast implants and cancer
It is important to know which relatives developed breast cancer and at what age. Cancer in close relations (sister, mother, maternal mother, maternal sister) may be an indication of increased risk of cancer for you, especially if those cancers occurred in your female relatives before menopause. BRCA gene screening may be indicated.
As far as implants are concerned, saline and silicone have the same safety profile regarding cancer.
Breast cancer and implants
There is no evidence that saline or silicone implants have any association with developing breast cancer.
Cancer with breast implants
Neither saline or silicone breasts implants are shown to increase the incidence of breast cancer. A super rare form of lympoma has been reported. Family history is an important factor in breast cancer. Mammograms may be impeded somewhat by implants placed above the muscle. Donald R. Nunn MD Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.
There has been no evidence that either type of implant has been linked to breast cancer.
There is no evidence that either Saline or Gel implants cause breast cancer. Detection of breast cancer may be more difficult by mammogram less so if the implants are placed beneath the muscle.
Breast implants and breast cancer
Neither saline nor silicone gel filled breast implants have been found to have any increased risk of causing breast cancer. The real question sounds like whether or not you should have breast implants at all if you are already worried about breast cancer and believe you have a worrisome family history. If you are not comfortable with the basic idea of implants then you shouldn't have them, regardless of the type.
Implant and cancer
Neither implant is more likely to cause cancer. A very, very rare form of cancer has been reported, but the chances are about the same as being hit by lightning. The biggest issue is your family history. Both types of implants decrease the sensitivity of mammograms. Placing the implant under the muscle is better as there is less decrease. Even though detection can be delayed, studies show patients with implants who develop cancer ultimately have similar outcomes to those that do not. You may consider getting some counseling from a breast cancer surgeon or oncologist about your relative risk for developing breast cancer. Patients who have implants that do get cancer later can be successfully reconstructed.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.
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