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ASPS Studies Re-Evaluate Psychological Benefits and Health Concerns of Silicone Breast Implants
Date:1/3/2008

Effect on Body Image, Cancer, and Breast-feeding Examined

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Jan. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Plastic surgeons are re-evaluating past scientific findings and developing new knowledge about the effects of silicone breast implants. A recent supplement to Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery(R) (PRS), the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), sheds new light on the psychological impact and health concerns of silicone breast implants.

Body Image

One review of important recent studies refuted a common perception - women who want breast augmentation do not suffer from lower overall body image than other women.

"Breast augmentation patients do not have a poorer overall self-image, nor are they more self-critical and preoccupied with their appearance than other women," said Mary McGrath, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon and study author. "It appears it is their significant dissatisfaction with their breasts that serves as the motivation for surgery, not a poor overall body image."

The positive effect of breast augmentation on women's thoughts and feelings is also limited to their breasts. After surgery, they report being less embarrassed about their breasts and spending less time feeling upset about and camouflaging their breasts.

Cancer Risk

While some studies have raised concerns about the potential link between silicone breast implants and breast cancer, others have suggested the implants could cause other types of cancer (cervical, vulvar, lung, etc). A National Cancer Institute (NCI) review of past epidemiologic studies showed little support for an increased risk of cancer among breast implant patients.

"At present, there is no convincing evidence that breast implants alter the risk of cancer," said Louise Brinton, Ph.D., NCI, and study author. "The few increases in risk that have been noted in studies appear to be largely attributable to lifest
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SOURCE American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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