A recent study suggests that breast implants may lead to a higher rate of false-negative cancer diagnoses and a higher incidence of cancer spreading to the lymph nodes, but do not affect cancer survival rates.
The small study suggests that mammograms may be less accurate at picking up breast abnormalities in women who have breast implants. Despite this, however, the issue of detection did not affect these patients' breast cancer survival rates. Study author Dr. Jessica A. Rayhanabad summed up the results: “ We found that the women in the augmented group had more palpable tumors and were more likely to have lymph node-positive disease. However, these findings did not translate to a significant difference in survival rates between the two groups.”
During the study, the researchers reviewed the records of 5,005 women, all of whom had been treated for breast cancer. They look at whether the patients who had breast implants had been diagnosed at a later stage, and whether they had a poorer prognosis. "It's commonly believed that [a breast implant] interferes with our ability to diagnose breast cancer and that augmented women therefore have a worse prognosis should they develop breast cancer," the authors wrote. Contradicting this belief, the researchers found no difference in tumor size, recurrence rate or survival rates between the two groups.
The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Society of Breast Surgeons' upcoming annual meeting. Read more about it here: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/cancer/articles/2011/...