Can breast implants hinder breast cancer detection?

8 July 2016 - by Kieran Lamont

Breast Cancer

One of the primary health concerns with cosmetic breast implants is their potential role in hindering the early stages of breast cancer detection. This is extremely important as the stages of detection can have a profound effect on the treatability of certain types of cancer.

It is widely known that breast implants are radio-opaque, so when women with implants undergo a mammography, their implants can hinder a doctor’s ability to detect irregularities within the breast tissue, posing an obvious problem.

Studies were conducted to seek whether cancer stage distribution among women differed between those that have breast implants and those who don’t. Both of the meta-analysis studies revealed a reduced rate of survival among women with breast implants, after having breast cancer, compared with women who hadn’t had implants. This is not to say that breast implants can cause cancer, only that they have the potential to delay detection.

It is also important to address probable flaws within this study to rationally interpret the findings. This study did not take age or medical history into account, nor did it account for period of diagnosis. Whilst it certainly holds element of truth, it is no way conclusive.

Article source: BMJ

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