Researchers say implants make it harder to spot the growth of tumors in the breast during routine mammograms as some of the breast tissue is covered by the implant and not visible on the film.
“If there is a cancer growing in an area that we aren't able to image, we wont be able to pick it up,” said Dr. Leigh Neumayer, a Surgical Oncologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute.
By not being able to see all of the tissue tumors may go unnoticed leading to the cancer to spread and possibly poorer survival chances.
“The earlier we find the breast cancer the better for survival,” said Dr. Neumayer. “If we find it before we can feel it, then the survival is going to become very high. If we can find it before the cancer has become an invasive cancer, then it becomes 100 percent curable.”
Dr. Neumayer tells ABC 4’s Kim Johnson the study should not discourage women with breast implants from getting mammograms within the recommended guidelines as mammograms remain an effective way to detect cancer.
But for women interested in getting implants, she has this piece of advice.
“Ask the doctor to put the implant behind the muscle because our ability to image the breast is easier if it's behind the pectoris muscle as opposed to in front of it,” she said.
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