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Implants May Delay Breast Cancer Detection, Raise Death Risk
Date:4/30/2013

>Although the analysis linked breast implants to later-stage breast cancer diagnoses, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

The report was published online April 30 in the journal BMJ.

Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said she will be more cautious with patients.

"Patients ask if it's OK to do implants," Bernik said. "We don't tell them not to, but they have to understand that it comes with a risk of obscuring some of the breast tissue."

If someone has a family history of breast cancer, they should be cautious, Bernik said. "Everybody should be informed that there is this problem," she said. "It will limit the ability for cancer detection with mammography."

Bernik suggested that women with breast implants also have an ultrasound or MRI to get around the problem of the implant hiding breast tissue during a mammogram. She said, however, that for this purpose MRIs aren't covered by insurance.

More information

To learn more about breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Eric Lavigne, Ph.D. graduate in epidemiology, faculty of medicine, University Laval, Quebec City; Stephanie Bernik, M.D., chief of surgical oncology, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; April 30, 2013, BMJ, online


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