October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer is the second leading killer of women in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, it is estimated that nearly 200,000 women will be diagnosed with and approximately 40,000 will die of breast cancer this year. In addition, about 2000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and over 400 will die. Although the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over age 60, women should remember that over 10% of cases are diagnosed at age 40 or less, and early detection improves your treatment options. Before age 40, women should perform regular breast self-exams and should talk to their doctors about having clinical exams and mammograms if they have a family history of breast cancer. Although some people suggested that breast implants were a risk factor for breast cancer, there has never been evidence that this was the case, and now good data shows that there is no link between breast implants and breast cancer. Instead, risk factors for breast cancer include:
- Personal or family history of breast cancer
- Genetic and cellular changes
- Earlier first menstrual period and later menopause
- Having a first child at an older age or having no children
- Caucasian race
- Being overweight, having a lack of physical activity, or drinking more alcohol
Manhattan plastic surgeon Dr. George Lefkovits is concerned about the breast health of his patients, and reminds women that submuscular placement of implants can improve the accuracy of mammograms and that, in any case, women with breast implants should work with a center experienced in dealing with them. If you would like to learn more about breast implants, we invite you to contact Dr. Lefkovits today.