Whether you’re considering breast augmentation or have already had breast surgery, you may be doing research on breast implants. One of the questions that sometimes come up in that research is, “Do breast implants cause cancer?” The following article will attempt to put your mind at ease on the safety of breast implants. Contact us today to learn more about our cosmetic surgery procedures, or to schedule a free consultation today.
Two Types of Breast Implants
Before getting into the questions regarding implants and cancer, it’s important to be aware of the two types of implants patients may choose from. Saline implants are inserted flat, as an empty shell. Once they are positioned into place in the chest, the implants are filled with sterile salt water.
The second type of implant is silicone. They are prefilled with silicone gel that feels more like fat tissue. The result is that silicone breast implants often look and feel more natural.
Both types of implants may rupture, leaking the filling into the body. Saline is absorbed back into the body, but the silicone doesn’t go anywhere. You may not even be aware that you have a leak with silicone unless you undergo testing.
Why are Breast Implants Linked to Cancer?
Both saline and silicone implants have been deemed to be safe by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, in media, they have been spoken to as connected with cancer diagnoses. Let us be clear: breast implants don’t increase your risk of getting cancer, and they don’t cause cancer.
Research indicates that some women who have received breast implants are correlated with a higher risk of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL), which is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This is a type of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system.
Women who are diagnosed with ALCL most often have textured implants. These implants cause less ripple and aren’t as likely to move. Some experts believe that they may cause your immune system to respond in a different way, which may lead to cancer. ALCL is a rare form of cancer, and the chances of getting it even with textured implants is very low.
ALCL is highly treatable with little risk of reoccurrence when diagnosed and treated early. Surgery is usually needed to remove the implant and scar tissue as well as affected lymph nodes. In more severe cases, chemotherapy or radiation may be recommended.
Do Breast Implants Cause Cancer?
Breast implants aren’t linked to any higher incidents of breast cancer. This includes both saline and silicone implants.
Not much information is known about why women with textured implants contract ALCL. This disease affects a small percentage of women who have the implants, but not enough to provide a definitive answer as to whether “can breast implants cause cancer?” Most women who choose the textured type of implant won’t have any issues.
Multiple studies have been done which show no increased risk of developing breast cancer from implants. For instance, in one study, 24,558 women were included in the population with follow-up 24 years after getting the implants. The incidence ratio was at 0.54, and it was determined that there was no higher risk of breast cancer. Another study had 6222 participants with 84 cases of diagnosed breast cancer. The resulting determination once again was that women with breast implants weren’t at a greater risk for breast cancer.
What to Consider
If you already have breast implants, you don’t necessarily need to worry even if they are textured. It’s not always recommended that they need to be removed, but you can talk to your doctor if you’re concerned. Check your breasts for signs of swelling, lumps, and other changes in the breast, and pain around your breast that remains constant. Dr. Lapuerta can perform abreast implant exchange if you want to remove your textured implants and replace them with a smooth option. You can also have them removed as part of breast reduction in Houston, TX.
If you’re thinking about getting implants or a breast lift, you should schedule a consultation with Dr. Leo Lapuerta. He will discuss your goals and the type of breast implant that is best for achieving those goals. You can also discuss your concerns about cancer and ask questions. Dr. Lapuerta will help you determine if getting breast implants is right for you and alleviate any concerns you have.
Contact Us Today for Breast Implants
Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Lapuerta to find out about how breast implants can enhance your shape. Dr. Lapuerta is an experienced plastic surgeon who has performed thousands of breast surgeries. Contact us today to schedule your appointment or to learn more about breast procedures.