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Ann Surg Oncol. 1995 Mar;2(2):121-5.

Breast cancer after breast augmentation with silicone implants.

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Beth Israel Medical Center, North Division, New York, NY, USA.



Although epidemiological studies have failed to demonstrate an increased incidence of breast cancer in women who had undergone prior prosthetic augmentation mammoplasty (PAM), it has been reported that when breast cancer arises in this group it presents mostly in a palpable form and at a more advanced stage. This is thought to be secondary to suboptimal mammographic evaluation caused by the masking effect of the implant. This study was undertaken to determine, in our experience, whether breast cancer arising in women who had undergone PAM could be detected in a prepalpable form by mammography and whether it presented at a more advanced stage as compared with nonaugmented women with breast cancer.


The charts of 22 patients, treated by at least one of the authors, in whom 23 breast cancers developed after PAM (group A) were retrospectively reviewed. The comparison groups consisted of 611 nonaugmented patients who underwent 636 procedures for the treatment of primary breast cancer at our institution (group B) and the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results (SEER) data (group C). Parameters studied were mode of detection, tumor size, axillary lymph node involvement, and histopathology.


No significant differences between the groups were found in mean tumor size (group A vs. group B), the incidence of preinvasive cancer (group A vs. group B) or axillary lymph node involvement (group A vs. group B and group A vs. group C). Breast-preserving surgery was performed significantly less in augmented patients (group A vs. group B).


We conclude that prepalpable and preinvasive breast cancer can be detected in the PAM patient by mammography and that the stage of presentation in this group is not significantly different than in nonaugmented patients. Total mastectomy is preferred over breast-preserving procedures for the treatment of breast cancer in the PAM patient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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