Breast Implants And Cancer Screening

Approximately 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2021, breast cancer accounted for 12% of annual cancer cases worldwide, earning the title of most common global cancer. These statistics are evidence to encourage women to have biannual mammograms, especially those at high risk. It is a myth that mammograms are impossible with breast implants or that results could be skewed by augmentation. Cancer screening is highly encouraged for women who have undergone breast augmentation, and implants should not hinder future mammograms.

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What is a mammogram?

Mammograms are breast x-ray images to help identify tumors, cysts, and other abnormalities. The breast is placed as flat as possible between two plates on the x-ray machine. Multiple images will be captured from various angles for review by a radiologist. Mammograms can detect breast cancer at early stages when the disease is easier to treat, reducing the number of breast cancer-related deaths.

Can you still get a mammogram if you have breast implants?

Breast implants appropriately placed do not prevent a successful x-ray. All women with breast implants can get mammograms. In addition to screening for cancer, the test can detect issues with implants, such as a rupture or leakage. To ensure all the correct images are taken, it is essential to notify the medical team of breast implants before the start of the mammogram.

Mammograms for women with breast implants

The mammogram procedure may be slightly different for women with implants compared to those without. In rare cases, the process can rupture an implant, so women with implants must inform the medical team beforehand. Sometimes, 2 additional images of each breast at an implant displacement (ID) view may be required. ID views are used to obtain a more accurate picture of the front breast tissue.

Do breast implants increase the risk of breast cancer?

No evidence correlates breast implants to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. The most significant risk factors for breast cancer include female sex, age, and family history. Research does show that women with implants are at higher risk for developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). This is a cancer of the immune system and is easily treatable.

Keep up those mammograms

Breast implants help women achieve more size, volume, and confidence. The procedure does not come before overall health, so biannual mammograms are still highly encouraged. If any risk factors are present, more frequent screenings may be recommended. An ID view is preferred with implants to best capture the breast tissue. A skilled radiologist with experience reading images containing implants is recommended for the best results.

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