Health Watch — Breast Cancer: Implants and Mammograms

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about breast cancer, in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Doctors recommend annual mammograms starting around the age of 40 for early detection of breast cancer. But what about women who have breast implants?

Dr. Phil Evans, director of the Center for Breast Care at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says mammograms are more difficult for women who have breast implants, but they’re still necessary. Experienced mammographers will know how to deal with implants. They may need to take additional views, and the image may be more difficult to read, so women with breast implants should look for a mammography center with a staff experienced in dealing with implants. There is a slight risk of the implant rupturing from the pressure of a mammogram, but Dr. Evans says the life-saving benefits of a mammogram are worth the risk. 


October 2007

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