Before you sign up for plastic surgery for breast implants, there is something you should know. Implants have been associated with delayed breast cancer detection and higher breast cancer mortality.
More than 300,000 women undergo breast augmentation in the U.S. annually. After reviewing thousands of studies, investigators evaluated breast cancer stage and survival among women with and without breast implants. Studies were limited to only include cases of invasive breast cancer. These studies showed that breast augmentation was associated with significantly higher risk for breast cancer death.
The authors felt that this was probably due to impaired visualization of the breast tissue and inadequate breast compression that can reduce the mammogram accuracy in women with implants. Breast MRI is available and would be more accurate for screening women with breast implants, but there is not enough evidence to support routine use of this very expensive test.
Make sure you talk to your practitioner if you have breast implants to discuss proper screening. If you are considering getting implants, make sure you know the side effects and risks involved.
Reference: Lavigne E et al. Breast cancer detection and survival among women with cosmetic breast implants: Systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. BMJ 2013 Apr 30; 346:f2399.