Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Does Breast Augmentation Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer?

Many women wonder if there is a connection between breast augmentation and breast cancer; The FDA continues to support the use of breast implants, as extensive studies have proven their safety; The following is evidence of how closely the medical community reviews any possible connection between health issues and implants.

ATLANTA, July 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed a possible link between breast implants and a rare type of cancer (anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or ALCL). ALCL rarely develops in the breast, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The FDA is currently aware of only 60 cases worldwide, a tiny fraction of the millions of women who have received breast implants. As additional data is needed, the FDA has asked health care providers to report cases of ALCL in women with breast implants.

Although women are right to be concerned about any link between breast implants and cancer, there are no accepted studies showing implants cause long-term health problems, including breast cancer or connective tissue diseases. Both saline and silicone breast implants are FDA-approved when used as recommended.

Breast Implants and Mammograms

Breast implants must be considered during breast cancer screening. If you have implants, always tell the technician. Because implants can make reading a mammogram more challenging, choose a provider that is experienced in screening breasts with implants.

Implants placed beneath the pectoralis muscle (instead of directly behind the breast tissue) impact a mammogram less than sub-glandular implants.

On a positive note, women who choose to get breast implants tend to be more conscious of their bodies and thus check more frequently for breast lumps. It's also reportedly easier to see or feel lumps for women with implants.

Reducing Your Risk

Here are things you can do to reduce your risk of breast cancer:

  • Limit alcohol consumption. The more you drink, the greater your risk. Limit yourself to one drink a day.
  • Control your weight. Obesity increases your risk of breast cancer, especially if you gain the excess weight after menopause.
  • Be physically active. Being active helps you maintain a healthy weight and provides other healthful benefits.
  • Breast-feed. Studies have shown that breast-feeding may offer some protection against breast cancer.
  • Discontinue hormone therapy. Long-term hormone therapy increases your risk of breast cancer.
  • Avoid pollution. Exposure to vehicular and other air pollutants can contribute to breast cancer.

It's not always possible to prevent breast cancer. By practicing these habits, however, you're doing your part to protect yourself.



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