Is breast cancer common for women who have br…

Is breast cancer common for women who have breast implants?

Asked by JamieKennedy in Key Biscayne, FL • 5 years ago

Larry Schlesinger, M.D., F.A.C.S. in Honolulu, HI

No, breast cancer is definitely not more common in women who have breast implants, and in fact, there is some indication that women who have silicone breast implants have less cancer than women who have no implants.

There were three major studies of silicone breast implants during the 15 years when silicone breast implants were off the market (1991 – 2006). During that period, the FDA was investigating all potential problems caused by silicone breast implants. The three major studies were in Calgary, Canada, at Johns Hopkins, and at the Mayo Clinic. Each of these studies had thousands of women with and without breast implants, and compared the two groups for almost every conceivable problem. The big question that was answered by these large studies was whether silicone implants had a strong correlation to collagen vascular diseases, especially Lupus. All three studies proved neither Lupus nor any other collagen vascular disease was caused by silicone breast implants. Unexpectedly, all three studies showed that women with silicone breast implants had less cancer than women without silicone breast implants.

What this information means is that silicone breast implants do not increase one’s potential for breast cancer. On the other hand, silicone breast implants may not protect one from breast cancer.

No, there are many many studies that have looked at this for more than 25 years and there is no increased risk.. Just recently a specific type of cancer was found in a few women with implants but this is rare and still being researched.

Jed Horowitz

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS in New York, NY

Dear Jamie,
On the contrary, breast implant patients have been shown to have lower incidences of breast cancer. But, don’t get the wrong message. This is NOT because breast implants protect you from getting breast cancer. It is due to something known as selection bias. By screening our patients for personal or family history of breast cancer before recommending breast augmentation surgery we are actually pre-selecting out a population of women that were less likely to develop breast cancer in the first place.
Dr. Kenneth R. Francis

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