A new study shows choosing to have implants after a mastectomy does not reduce the long-term survival of the patient. Researchers say they found that women with implants had a better chance of survival than those who did not have implants.
Researchers speculate that the implants may boost the morale and self-esteem of the patient, which could improve their survival. Some studies have suggested that breast implants could stimulate the immune system and reduce blood flow to the breast, thereby impairing cell and tumor growth.
Previous research has shown that breast implants do not have a negative impact on a cancer patient's health in the short term. However, long-term studies have not been done. A more recent study done included more than 4,000 women under age 65 who were diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. All of the women had a mastectomy, and some opted to have a breast implant. Researchers say out of the 21 percent of the women who had a breast implant, about 12 percent died from their breast cancer. However, of the women who did not have an implant, about 19 percent died from their breast cancer during the study. After controlling for other factors, researchers conclude that breast cancer mortality in patients with breast implants is about half that of patients without implants.
Thus researchers conclude saying that further study is needed to explain the apparent benefit of breast implants for breast cancer patients.