Breast Implant Risks with Family History of Breast Cancer

Hi there, I have been considering breast implants for a while now but I was recently told that there are added risks if my family has a history of breast cancer... what are those added risk exactly? thank you

Doctor Answers 7

Breast Implants and Breast Cancer Detection

Regarding: " Breast Implant Risks with Family History of Breast Cancer
Hi there, I have been considering breast implants for a while now but I was recently told that
there are added risks if my family has a history of breast cancer... what are those added risk exactly? thank you"

Breast Implants have been more extensively studied and scrutinized than any other man made device, More than artificial joints, heart valves, pacemakers etc. It has been proven beyond intelligent scientifically-based discussion that breast implants do NOT cause breast cancer or a whole host of autoimmune diseases.

A odds that any woman will develop cancer is 1 in 7 to 1 in 11. This risk is higher in women who carry a gene for or have a familial form of the disease. The breast is therefore a cancer prone organ. As such, breast implants can obscure the visualization of breast cancer depending on WHERE the implants are placed and WHICH IMPLANTS are used.

THE BEST method to diagnose breast cancer is with a MRI. It is much better and much more expensive than a mammogram and will pick much earlier cancers. Unfortunately, no insurance company will pay for it to be used as a screening tool.

Implants placed OVER the muscle (especially Silicone gel) can partially interfere with complete visualization of the breast tissue on mammogram studies (not MRI). If you insist on having implants put over the muscle, make sure you get a MRI and / or get saline implants (which unfortunately produce more rippling) but allow better visualization than gel implants. Placing breast implants under the muscle allows for better mammography visualization but saline implants still allow for better visualization even with displacement (EKLUND) views than can be seen with gel implants.

Dr. Aldea 

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Breast implant surgery and family history of breast cancer

There are no true added risks in the sense implants do not cause or are associated with cancer. According to my knowledge, however, the implants can DELAY the diagnosis of cancer due to difficulty imaging the breast with implants in place. This will no likely be less of a prolem as MRI becomes the standard of care for diagnosing breast cancer. Furthermore, ti is my understanding, that although cancers in women with implants may be detected later, there is no diffierence in survival or mortality. However, if you have a strong family history (several first degree relatives) you may want to consider genetic testing and counseling.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Breast implants and family history of cancer

Certainly a family histroy of breast cancer is important to know.  Mammographic screening before and after surgery is a good idea.  Most mammographers are very comfortable evaluating mammograms in patients with implants.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Risk of breast cancer after breast augmentation

T\Studies have shown that there is no increased risk of breast cancer in patients who have undergone breast augmentation. There is, however, a variable amount of breast tissue that is obscured by the implants during mammogram, and you may wish alternative imaging studies (e.g. MRI) for better screening.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Breast Implants No Additional Risk For Breast Cancer

From all our data and stuides, both in the US and around the world, the presence of breast implants will not adversely effect your ability to detect breast cancer.  All the statistical data says that women with breast implants are diagnosed at the same stage and timing as women without breast implants, even when their is a family history of breast cancer.  I hope this helps. 

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Breast implant risks with family history of breast cancer

Studies have shown there is no statistical risk deviations in the female population without without implants. Please seek an opinion from a boarded plastic surgeon in your area. From MIAMI Dr. B

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Augmentation with Positive Family History of Breast Cancer

An augmentation mammaplasty will neither increase nor decrease your chances of developing breast cancer.  The implants can, however, interfere with detection of breast cancer on a mammagram.  Placement of the implants below the pectoralis muscle probably helps to some degree, but you must weigh the chances of a delay in diagnosis, especially if you have a very strong family history.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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.