The month of October has been designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to promote knowledge and information about breast cancer to the general public. It has helped many women to focus on breast health and the importance of getting scheduled mammograms. Women who have undergone a breast augmentation may wonder how their implants impact the risk of cancer and preventative mammograms to catch cancer in the early stages.
Breast Augmentation and Risk of Cancer
In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted a link between breast implants and a certain type of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. However, the link to implants is not clear at the current time, and it is a very rare cancer that seldom occurs. For the most part, medical research does not find a connection between breast implants and the risk of cancer. The Susan G. Komen Foundation notes no increased risk for breast cancer from either saline nor silicone implants. However, women with these implants should be as attentive to regular breast exams as those without implants to ensure early detection. Implants may make it more difficult for women to access all parts of the breast tissue.
Importance of Mammograms
The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms for women over the age of 40. Because each woman may have lumps and bumps in their breast tissue that is completely normal, they recommend that women do monthly self-exams to ensure the woman is aware of any changes that may occur in the tissue from the age of 20 onward. In addition, a clinical breast exam, or CBE, should be done by a doctor on a regular basis.
Mammograms of Augmented Breasts
Women with breast implants should notify the technician when getting a mammogram. They should also ensure that the facility has experience in performing mammograms on patients with breast implants. Doing a mammogram on a patient with implants requires special techniques to ensure that all angles of the breast area are properly viewed.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Reminders of breast health during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month help busy women to remember to schedule their regular mammograms to ensure that they take care of this important part of their general healthcare.