Getting breast implants does not increase a woman's breast cancer risk or interfere in detection procedure, say researchers from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Centre
"The question of how implants affect breast cancer risk and screening tests, like the mammogram, is a question that many women ask," said Dr Therese Bevers, medical director of the Cancer Prevention Centre at M. D. Anderson.
Advertisement"The good news is that implants do not increase breast cancer risks. But, they also don't decrease them because women with implants still have their natural breast tissue," Bevers added.
The researchers advise to pay special attention to breasts and promptly reporting any changes to the doctor.
"The person most likely to find a lump in the breast is the woman herself," said Bevers.
"With implants, becoming familiar with your breasts is more difficult at first because the breast will have a different texture. It also will have new folds or dimples.
"But after a woman knows her new breasts, having implants should not get in the way of her noticing a change that might be cancer," she added.
During a mammogram, images are collected by flattening the breast between two mammogram plates. Implants can get in the way of this flattening, which makes it difficult to see the breast as clearly.
However, according to the researchers, this doesn't mean that women with implants can't be screened for breast cancer. It just means that women with implants need additional pictures taken during the mammogram.
However, women also should be aware that the size of their implants can affect breast cancer testing.
"Very large implants can be more difficult to image with mammography," said Dr Elisabeth Beahm, F.A.C.S., a professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at M. D. Anderson.
"So we suggest that women concerned about breast cancer not get extremely large implants. Stick with implants that fit your body type," she added.
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