Dr. Richard K. Vanik, board-certified plastic surgeon and director of Amerejuve plastic surgery, said implants do not make a patient either more or less likely to develop breast cancer later on. So, in short, breast implants do not affect risk of breast cancer.
“There’s nothing about having a breast implant that is going to change their risk of breast cancer. It doesn’t increase it, and it doesn’t decrease it,” he said.
Breast implants also don’t make mammograms less effective as it was once believed, Vanik said. The key is to simply communicate with the technician before every mammogram.
“The technician can use some different techniques to image the breast and not so much the implant,” he said. “They can get a very effective mammogram that way.”
According to the American Cancer Society, the top breast cancer risk factors include gender, age, family history, and a number of genetic mutations. Women are more likely than men to develop breast cancer (but men can develop breast cancer), and the risk of breast cancer increases with age. A number of genes can contribute to the risk of breast cancer, but mutations to the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes have been shown to be particularly linked to breast cancer risk.
The ACS recommends women conduct self breast exams beginning in their 20s and have a clinical breast exam every three years in their 20s and 30s. Beginning in their 40s, women should have a mammogram yearly. A health provider may recommend beginning mammograms earlier, or even ordering MRIs, for women who have an increased risk for cancer. These are important recommendations to pay attention to, whether a woman has breast implants or not.
To schedule a free cosmetic surgery consultation, call (713) 960-6262.
Read more in The Amerejuve Insider, Vol. 1 No. 6.