Breast cancer diagnosis and survival in women with and without breast implants

D C Birdsell, H Jenkins, H Berkel
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 1993, 92 (5): 795-800
The stage at diagnosis and the survival experience of 41 women who developed breast cancer after cosmetic breast augmentation were compared with those of all other patients with breast cancer (n = 13,246) diagnosed in Alberta from 1973 to 1990 (inclusive). The tumors in women with breast implants were smaller (65.9 percent < or = 2 cm) as compared with the tumors in women without implants (34.1 percent < or = 2 cm), but lymph node and distant metastases were equally frequent in the two groups. The distribution of tumor histologic types did not differ significantly between women with or without implants. Women who had an implant were younger at diagnosis of breast cancer compared with women with breast cancer and no breast implants. The relative 5- and 10-year survival rates did not differ significantly between the two groups, and the Kaplan-Meier survival estimate also was similar. It is concluded that women with breast implants in whom breast cancer develops are not diagnosed in a later stage and do not experience an impaired survival as compared with breast cancer patients without implants.

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