National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is said to be the No. 1 killer of women today. Therefore, it is important that we become more knowledgable about this disease. Our health should be a top priority and with early detection we can make sure the survival rate will continue to go up. There are some common misconceptions about breast implants and breast cancer risks and prevention. We will address a few of those below. No, implants do not cause breast cancer. This is a question that comes up quite often in consultation. There is no scientific data that shows a link between breast cancer and breast implants whatsoever. Yes, you can still do self breast exams with breast implants. Whether the implant is placed above or below the muscle, your natural tissue is always in front of the implant, allowing you to feel for lumps or changes in your breasts. Have your physician show you the correct way to do the self-exams. We encourage women to do these often, should you have implants or not. Keep in mind, if you choose to do the breast self-examinations, this should not replace clinical breast examinations by a health professional and mammograms if you are older than age 40. Yes, you can still have mammograms. Although, for some women with implants, additional pictures may be needed. Breast implants may make it a little more difficult to see breast tissue on standard mammograms, but additional x-ray pictures with implant displacement and compression views can be used to more completely examine the breast tissue. When choosing a clinic it is imperative that you look for one that is staffed with technicians experienced in working with implants and reading these images. In general, we need to be more responsible with our health. By doing routine breast self-exams and having annual mammograms and checkups, you can potentially detect problems early. Talk to your physician about your breast cancer questions or concerns. Together, you and your physician will determine when is the right time to start annual mammograms and self breast exams for early breast cancer detection and prevention. If considering breast augmentation, please contact our office for any additional information.