Today, more than ever, campaigns set to ensure breast cancer awareness are at an all-time high. Understandably so, seeing that the number of people dying with cancer has grown at an alarming rate. If detected in good time, breast cancer is treatable. One of the most commonly asked questions about breast cancer is; is it detectable in women with implants?
Detecting breast cancer with implants shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish. According to a research study published in the Journal of American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation with implants does not hinder the detection of cancer from breast implants later on. Apparently, medical practitioners can detect small sizes of breast cancer in women with implants.
Michael Sosin, MD, MedStar Georgetown University in Washington DC, together with his colleagues, concluded through a study, that it might be difficult to detect breast cancer in women with implants using mammography. A doctor may have to use other methods before giving a diagnosis.
If you have implants, here are some of the things that you should know about breast cancer screening.
- Implants do not increase your likelihood of getting breast cancer. Similarly, it doesn’t prevent its occurrence either.
- You should be familiar with the implant so that you can distinguish it from breast tissue when you are performing a self-examination.
- As already mentioned above, a mammogram may not have the capacity to detect breast cancer in the presence of an implant. The X-rays present in mammograms can’t penetrate silicone or saline adequately. While it is not entirely impossible, implants make the process a little trickier.
- In the case where a doctor feels that mammography is not sufficient to make a diagnosis, he or she may recommend additional screening – ultrasound screening. It is worth noting that ultrasound isn’t an alternative to mammography.
- If a doctor locates a suspicious area of the breast tissue, he or she may have to perform a needle biopsy. The procedure facilitates the extraction of a cell sample for lab testing. Needle biopsy poses a risk to women with implants – the severity is dependent on the location of the identified lump.
What happens if a woman with implants is diagnosed with cancer? Must she remove the implant? While the decision is purely personal, listening to the advice of your doctor is worthwhile to boost the chances of recovery.