What is Worth Getting Cancer Over


What is Worth Getting Cancer OverBreast cancer is a life altering experience for many women as well as their partners.  The many potential effects of the disease may be too much for women to bear.  Mastectomies are often the result of breast cancer leaving a women feeling scarred and blemished.  Much of her value and self-worth are cut away along with the breast. Great attempts to reconstruct a women’s body back to what it once was have been made over the last century, and since the initial breast implant device was invented in 1895, to cure such imperfections of on a woman’s body as a result of cancer, great strides have been made with caution, but often dangerous to restore a woman back to physical wholeness.

In the twentieth century, advances were being made with breast implants, and in the 1950s and 1960s, silicone was being used for some 50,000 women who were receiving silicone injections.  Over the decades, the injections have turned to silicone implants, and have been perfected over the years.  In 1962 breast implants were formally introduced and believed to not be harmful to women, however, in 1992, as a result of insufficient long-term health risk evidence, silicone breasts were restricted to women seeking reconstructive surgery, and Congress directed a study to uncover the long-term health effects of silicone implants.

The on again off again controversy of breast implants being linked to cancer has been more than unsettling.  Breast implants were originally manufactured to be a part of reconstruction for women who had lost their breast or breasts to mastectomies, nowadays, however, twenty percent of the surgeries performed are a result of mastectomies, and eighty percent are cosmetic.  It is estimate that over two million women in the United States have received breast implants for cosmetic reasons since they were originally introduced in 1962, and that number is growing rapidly.

However, do these implants have any relation to cancer is the question everyone wants answered.  The twelve-year study showed that there was no risk for cancer because of silicone implants.  That revelation ignited a flood of silicone implants for many women. Even thought the tests proved no risks, there were still some daunting questions about the foreign substance in the body and possibility of cancer. There have remained serious health concerns.  In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration approved breast implants for women over 22, however the FDC is requiring implant makers to follow and study eighty thousand recipients for the next ten years.

There are only two manufacturers, Mentor and Inamed have been approved for silicone breast implants.  The silicone breast implants there were manufactured by other companies has not been proven reasonably safe.  The FDA found that in using other manufactures, every patient had at least one, or more serious complication with the implants.  The majority of the complications consisted breast pain, hardness in the breast and numbness in the nipple that often when away, but often did not go away.  However, the most serious side effect was toxic shock syndrome, from breast implants breaking through the skin and the skin dying.  There have been a few patients who had gangrene because of breast implants or have even died.  While these are rare, they still do occasionally happen. Many of the patients who have received breast implants had to undergo surgery within five years after their initial surgery due to complications or other hazards.

Breast augmentation may interfere with a woman’s ability to breastfeed, and there are concerns that a leaking implant could cause harm to the baby.

The implants are not lifetime products and one or both break before year ten and unfortunately, these ruptures are not immediately recognized.  The implant can rupture.  Mammograms have been known to be a culprit among implants breaking.  Breast implants also make it more difficult to receive an accurate mammogram because tumors cannot be seen through breast implants.  It has been stated that mammograms will miss tumors of half of the augmented women who have breast cancer.

Breast implants do not result in breast cancer, or cause breast cancer, however, there are some things to consider regarding the silicone breast implants.  If you have implants, they can easily be ruptured during a mammogram, of course of all the concerns, this would be the least significant.  Breast lumps, or cancerous tumors are easily overlooked or not detected with mammography.  Mammograms cannot effectively see through the implants.  If a woman is receiving her mammogram, she must inform the technician and often times, a trained or skilled technician who has experience with examining women with implants.  This can often cost more and of more seriousness, you will be exposed to more radiation.

While implants do not cause or lead to breast cancer, recent studies have concluded that there is a possible link between saline and silicone breast implants and a very rare form of lymphoma.  The recent awareness of the link occurred when thirty-four women who were diagnosed with anaplastica large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) in a breast that had an implant.  In January 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported a possible link between both saline and silicone breast implants and a very rare form of lymphoma — anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) — in the tissue near the implant.

The FDA has emphasized that even if there is a link the risk of breast ALCL in women with breast implants is still very low.  The FDE has not relinquished their approval for implants as long as they are from the FDA-advised manufacturer.

Therefore, it appears that breast implants are safe as they relate to cancer or potential cancer.  There have been no substantial links with cancer and breast implants.  The tests are still occurring and data is always being redefined based on the latest test conclusions, however, for now, the evidence does not show any cancerous links of the two – which undoubtedly has been a sigh of relief for women everywhere.

What is most disturbing about the entire implant discussion is the endless rationale for these implants.  It has been made clear that they are not linked to breast cancer or any other forms of cancer, however, interest in reconstructive breast did not cease during the scares of potential links. What is more disturbing is the willingness to forget the information and even the concerns about mammograms.  Women are still eager to have implants to enhance their look.  Again, eighty percent of all breast plant recipients are for cosmetic purposes as opposed to reconstructive surgery due to mastectomies.

Recommendations:

Even with the many scares of breast cancer, women are still willing to risk a misdiagnosis from a mammogram because of an implant.  If fifty percent of all tumors go unseen because of implants, that puts these women in a significantly higher risk category.  There have been tests that have proved that when a woman has implants at the time of her diagnosis, she is further along with the disease.

The choices are for every woman to make, to way out the pros and the cons of breast implants.  Life seems too valuable to gamble with a faulty cancer screening because of implants.

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