My Mom Died from Breast Cancer, Is It a Bad Idea for Me to Get Implants?

Small barely A cup with scoilosis.  I just turned 50.

Doctor Answers 14

Breast cancer and breast augmentation.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Having a family history of breast cancer does not preclude you from having a breast augmentation. However, if you are a gene carrier for BRCA 1 or 2, have had multiple suspicious findings on previous mammograms, or have high anxiety in regards to breast cancer detection then implants are probably not for you. Consult with a board certified Plastic Surgeon and have a detailed consultation in regards to risk and detection with implants.  

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast Implants and Family History of Breast Cancer

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Just because your mother died from breast cancer doesn't mean you can't have breast implants.  There is no data to suggest that having breast implants increases your risk of breast cancer.  However, there are some things to consider.  First, I would suggest you get tested for the BRCA gene to see if your risk of breast cancer is increased by the presence of that gene.  Also, you would obviously need a mammogram and breast exam to make sure your breasts are healthy at this time.  In choosing the exact procedure and implant, keep in mind that a silicone implant is more opaque on a mammogram, so it is easier for the radiologist to see better detail on a mammogram film with the more translucent saline implants.  Placement of the implant behind the pectoral muscle adds a distance between the implant and your breast, also allowing better viewing of the breast tissue.  It would also be wise to obtain regular breast exams, mammograms, and perhaps even MRI's (if you choose silicone implants) in future years to be on the safe side.

Richard G. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Breast Augmentation With A Family History of Breast Cancer

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your mother's history of breast cancer does not preclude you from getting breast implants.  I would make sure that you consult with a board certified plastic surgeon and obtain a routine mammogram prior to the procedure.  My only recommendation is to strongly consider having the implants placed under the muscle so that future mammograms can be more easily interpreted.  Sorry for your loss and good luck with your  consideration of breast augmentation. 

Mark Schwartz, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Breast implants and breast cancer

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

As long as you're cleared by your medical doctors and your mammograms are good, you should be fine.  However, make sure you do the appropriate breast exams and follow up with your family history.

Breast implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Before having an augmentation you might consider having the BRCA 1 or 2 test to see if you are at high risk for breast cancer. If you elect not to do that then the best procedure would be a submuscular augmentation with saline implants. It is my opinion that saline implants interfer less with mammograms, and ultrasound exams. If gel implants are used  the manufacturer suggests M.R.I. exams at 5 and 10 years post-op.

Terry A. Cromwell, MD (retired)
Lafayette Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implants and Breast Cancer

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I agree with the answers listed below. There is no hard data that suggests breast implants, even gel, increase a patients chances of getting breast cancer. Make sure to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, discuss your medical history and get their take on it as they will mange your care. 

Implants and Family History of Breast Cancer.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

First degree relatives with a history of breast cancer...mother or sister as place you at increased risk for breast cancer, especially if they developed it in the premenopausal years. Breast implants do not cause cancer, but whether they interfere with its detection on mammography is debatable. Special views are done, but that still may not be conclusive for some radiologists. Ultimately, it is a personal decision whether or not to enhance your breasts, but if you choose to do so, you must be vigilant about your physician follow up visits and your breast self exams. Testing for the breast cancer gene may help your decision making. Make it a point to discuss all this at length with your surgeon.

Gustavo E. Galante, MD
Schererville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Breast implants and risks of breast cancer

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This is always a difficult question to answer.  If your mother had pre-menopausal breast cancer this does put you at some increased risk.  You could consider being tested for the BRACA gene.  As far as breast cancer, there is no increase or decrease in the  risk of breast cancer because of breasts implants.  There is no increase in the late detection of breast cancer because of breast implants.  Mammograms are still possible with implants but they can be more difficult to read.  The newer mammograms are digital and read by a CAD program which improves their accuracy with implants in place.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Family history of breast cancer

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

My first question is whether you have been tested genetically to see if you have the BRCA 1 or 2 mutation?  Next, based on family history, you need to have regular screening mammograms.  The implants will make it more difficult to read and you may need regular sonography as well.  However, you will not be at greater risk for breast cancer.  You simply need to recognize the potential consequences should cancer be detected down the road. Wishing you the best. Dr K

My Mom Died from Breast Cancer, Is It a Bad Idea for Me to Get Implants?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Although there are genetic factors in breast cancer, your added risk is higher only if your mother got her illness in pre-menopausal years. 

Even so, it is not necessarily a bad idea to get implants. They do not add to the risk of breast cancer. They do not interfere with early detection. (Although mammograms are harder to interpret, physical exam is more sensitive). 

The best advice will come from a consultation. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.