Health Watch - Breast Cancer: Implants

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 recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Previously, we discussed how early detection allows most women to survive breast cancer. The best way to detect breast cancer is with self exams and mammograms. But what about women with breast implants?

Mammograms are more difficult for women with breast implants, but they’re still necessary. Dr. Phil Evans, executive vice president for imaging services at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says women with implants should be sure to tell the mammographer. Experienced mammographers will know how to adjust to implants, so look for a center with experience dealing with implants. It may take more views of the breast – four per breast instead of the standard two – to get a full image. There is a slight risk of implants rupturing from the pressure of a mammogram, but the risk from undetected cancer is much higher.

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October 2010


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