If My Implant Ruptures, Am I at Risk for Breast Cancer?

There are nearly as many types of breast implants as there are reasons for getting one. For some women, it is a cosmetic decision, for others a reconstructive reason. Still others are transitioning, and breasts are a significant factor in achieving their new bodies. Regardless of why you have implants, one of the biggest concerns we hear about is whether you’re at risk for breast cancer if your implant ruptures.

Do Breast Implants Cause Cancer?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the FDA has detected a potential connection between a very rare type of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma and breast implants with textured surfaces. It’s a very low risk and the relationship between these breast implants and that specific cancer are still unknown. It is something to discuss with your physical before getting implants, but not necessarily a reason not to get them or have them removed.

How Do I Know If My Implants Have Ruptured?

Breast implants wear with age or can be damaged by trauma. While a small leak may go undetected, a rupture of the breast implant will often be quite noticeable, as the shape of your breast may change after a rupture. Ruptures of saline implants are more noticeable, since the saline is absorbed by the body. Modern silicone gel implants are designed to withstand a rupture by still containing the gel, so you may notice a misshapen breast but not necessarily deflated.

What Should I Do If I Think My Implant Ruptured?

If you think your implant has ruptured, you should see your physician. An MRI or mammogram may be needed to determine the extent of the leak. However, a leaking implant is not a cause of cancer. You may need to have your implant surgically removed or replaced.

Are Mammograms Safe with Implants?

At PURE Mammography, patients with implants undergo screening mammography routinely without any problems. In addition to standard mammogram views, our technologist will also perform special images which displace the breast tissue in front of the implant in order to better evaluate the breast tissue. It is extremely rare for breast implants to be injured during a mammogram. The benefits of mammography in the early detection of breast cancer far outweigh this risk. Contact us for more information.

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