• Will a breast augmentation increase my risk of breast cancer?

Will a breast augmentation increase my risk of breast cancer?

Whether you have already undergone breast augmentation surgery or are thinking about having it done, there’s a chance this question has popped into your mind at some time or other: Will a breast augmentation in Toronto increase my risk of breast cancer?

Will a breast augmentation increase my risk of breast cancer

What is Breast Cancer?

A breast is comprised of three main parts: lobules, ducts and connective tissue. Lobules are the glands that produce milk. Ducts are tubes that provide passage for the milk from the lobules to the nipple. The connective tissue, which is made up of fibrous and fatty tissue, that surrounds the other main parts and holds them together.

Breast cancer is a disease where cells within the breast grow at a rapid rate. There are several different kinds of breast cancer and what kind you have will depend on which cells in the breast turn cancerous. Most times, breast cancer will begin in the lobules or ducts.

What Is the Risk?

So, is there a connection between breast augmentation and breast cancer? The short answer is no; there is currently no reported correlation between breast augmentation and breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer is tied to factors such as weight, age, a family history of breast cancer, or inheriting specific genetic mutations connected to breast cancer.

However, while a breast augmentation in Toronto doesn’t increase your risk of developing breast cancer, it doesn’t prevent it either. It also doesn’t mean there is no risk of developing other forms of cancer. The important thing to do is to constantly complete self-examinations and attend routine checkups as recommended.

Get to Know Your Implants

In roughly 90% of breast cancer cases, women discover a cancerous lump on their own. It’s important that if you currently have breast implants are going to have a breast augmentation in Toronto, that you learn the difference between what is breast tissue and what is the implant. Your doctor or surgeon should be able to help you with this process.

Occasionally, women who have implants believe they have detected a lump in their breast, when in reality what they are feeling is their breast implant. Saline implants are a frequent culprit, as they can bulge like a partially filled water balloon. That being said, if you do feel a lump that concerns you in any way it’s important that you don’t ignore it. Go see your doctor and have it checked out right away. It’s better to be safe than sorry; they’ll be able to either confirm or deny your suspicions.

Implants and Mammograms

Just like any other woman, those who have undergone breast augmentation in Toronto need to have regular breast cancer screening mammograms after they reach a certain age. National guidelines recommend women to schedule these mammograms once a year or every other year between the ages of 40 and 50.

However, breast implants can make this process slightly more difficult, a fact that is not often discussed in great detail prior to surgery. Implants can actually hide signs of breast cancer during these screenings as the X-rays that are used during mammograms can’t adequately penetrate silicone or saline. This makes it harder to detect cancerous cells depending on where they are located.

For this reason, it is crucial that you inform whoever schedules your mammogram appointment as well as your doctor that you have breast implants. This will not only ensure that extra measures are taken during your screening, but also that the staff at the clinic have experience screening women with implants. The extra measures simply entail additional images that have to be taken. The standard amount of pictures for a mammogram is two of each breast, but women who have breast implants will typically require a few more. These pictures are called displacement views.

Should You Remove Your Implants?

If you do not currently have breast cancer, there’s no need to have your breast implants removed. Removing your breast implants won’t decrease your chances of getting breast cancer, just like having them won’t increase it.

If you do develop cancer at some point after having a breast augmentation in Toronto, your implant’s removal will depend on two factors: the kind of cancer that you have, and your doctors’ recommendations. Women with implants who must undergo radiation treatment for breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing capsular contracture. This means the fibrous tissue around the implant will become tight, hard and painful as a result of radiation exposure.

Should I Still Have a Breast Augmentation?

Yes! If you have been thinking about having a breast augmentation in Toronto done for a while now for any number of reasons ranging from self-esteem issues to reconstructive purposes, you should definitely still go through with it.

There are risks with any surgical cosmetic procedure, but cancer caused by a breast augmentation is not one of them. Make sure you discuss the risks and benefits thoroughly with your doctor beforehand. And aftercare is just as important. Visit your doctor regularly for routine checkups and inform them of any signs or symptoms that are associated with breast cancer, including new breast swelling, pain, lumps or changes in shape.

If you’re interested in breast augmentation in Toronto, McLean Clinic can help you! To schedule an appointment to speak with an expert, contact us today.

July 14, 2019
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