October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a yearly campaign designed to spread national awareness about breast cancer, a condition that impacts millions of women each year. For many years, it was believed that women with breast implants were at a greater risk for developing breast cancer. Fortunately, advances in research have disproved that myth. Still, many women with breast implants often have questions about how mammograms may be different for them. Mammograms are x-ray images taken of the breasts, which can be used to check for breast cancer even in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. The primary goal of a mammogram is to detect cancer before it begins to cause symptoms.
Mammograms with Breast Implants: What You Need to Know:
- If I have implants, should I still have a mammogram? Yes. Having breast implants does not mean that you cannot get breast cancer, and women with implants need to undergo mammograms just as women with natural breasts do. It is usually recommended for women to begin getting yearly mammograms at the age of 40.
- Does a doctor need to know I have breast implants before I undergo a mammogram? Yes. While breast implants don’t increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, silicone and saline breast implants can obscure mammogram images. For women with breast implants, additional x-ray pictures are taken to examine the underlying breast tissue more thoroughly.
- Will a mammogram damage my breast implants? During a mammogram, images are collected by flattening the breast between two mammogram plates. Because of this, many women with breast implants worry that their implants will be damaged following a mammogram. However, damages are highly unlikely, since breast implants are highly durable, and can withstand any pressure placed upon them during a mammogram. Whether or not you have breast implants, a mammogram could save your life if early-stage breast cancer is detected.
Do You Have Questions on Breast Implants? Contact Dr. Smith.
This October, doctors nationwide are encouraging women to take charge of their breast health. If you are considering getting breast implants and have questions on how they may impact your breast health, contact Dr. Smith today at 843.705.8940. Our offices are located in South Carolina, serving the communities of Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort and Okatie.