Breast implants may make the process of screening for breast cancer a little more difficult but if you have breast implants you should never avoid the process of regular screening.
A mammogram can save your life so you should always follow the advice of your physician regarding screening for early detection of breast cancer. If you have breast implants you may need some additional images taken during your mammogram to detect breast cancer early when it is in its most treatable stage.
Breast Cancer Screening Mammograms
According to the American Cancer Society, women aged 40 years and older should begin screening mammograms every year as long as they are in good health.
Women who are at a high risk for breast cancer, including those women who have a family history of breast cancer should begin magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and mammograms at the age of 30.
Risk factors for breast cancer include: age, personal and family history of breast cancer, radiation exposure to the chest, obesity, starting menstruation before the age of 12, beginning menopause after the age of 55, having your first child after the age of 35, genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 (Breast Cancer Susceptibility Genes 1 and 2) and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
How are Mammograms with Breast Implants Done?
The recommended guideline for screening for women with cosmetic breast implants is the same as those for women who have natural breast tissue. A mammogram is essentially a breast X-ray and the films are read by a radiologist who will look for abnormalities.
If an irregularity is found, your physician will recommend additional testing which may include a breast ultrasound or MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging).
Depending on the finding, a biopsy may also be recommended where your surgeon will remove a small amount of breast tissue to determine if the tissue is malignant or benign. Women with breast implants typically have an additional four images taken of their breasts during their mammogram.
These additional images are often referred to as implant displacement views and require the implant to be pushed back against the chest wall and your breast pulled forward to allow the radiologist to see the front portion of each breast. On very rare occasions, mammograms have been known to cause the implant to rupture. The benefits of regular screening mammograms far outweigh the risk of damage to the implant.
Digital Mammography VS Analog Film Mammograms
Digital mammography is a much better option for women with breast implants when compared to conventional mammograms. Digital mammography uses specialized computer imaging that allows the radiologist to view the area surrounding the breast implant.
Instead of X-ray film, the digital process uses components that are similar to those used in digital cameras. The process converts the x-ray image into electrical signals that then produce a clear image of the breast that can be viewed on a computer screen and printed on specialized film.
Breast Cancer Early Detection & Prevention Via Digital Mammograms & Ultrasounds in Stockbridge, Conyers & Athens Georgia
If you have breast implants you can protect the health of your breasts and the structure of your implants by scheduling regular mammograms and choosing Women’s Imaging Specialists as your professional mammogram service.
If you have silicone breast implants, your surgeon will recommended that you have an MRI of your breasts three years after the initial date of your implant surgery, then every two years to ensure that your implants have not ruptured.
Silicone gel implants for example leak slowly and the leak may not be immediately evident. For more information regarding digital mammograms, contact the experts at Women’s Imaging Specialists today and speak with a knowledgeable customer service professional about our comprehensive list of 3D imaging services.