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The Breast Cancer Information Gap

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This article is about the risks of breast implants and breast cancer. The author believes that people making decisions to have breast reconstruction need to be well informed before they make the choice. The risks of breast implants include pain, breakage, leakage, and links to many other diseases. There are two types of breast implants. There are saline and silicone. Both of them have outer silicone shells but one is filled with saline and the other silicone. The FDA didn't look at the hazards of breast implants until 1991. They realized that leakage of silicone could be harmful and insisted on restricting the use of silicone implants. In 1999, there were versions of saline implants that were approved by the FDA to be "safe" Silicone breast implants are said to feel more natural, yet the saline implants are safer in case of rupture. It is not really known that saline implants have their fair share of risks. Seventy percent of patients will experience at least one of the following four problems: pain, hardness, infection, or rupture within the first 3 years of the surgery. The most common problem is Capsular Contracture. This occurs in thirty-five percent of women who get either saline or silicone implants. In a Capsular Contracture the scar tissue tightens around the implant causing the breast to be hard, misshapen, and painful.

All breast implants are going to eventually break anytime between three months and ten-fifteen years. Twenty-five percent of women with implants have them removed within three years following the surgery due to leakage or breakage. When a saline implant breaks, the saline leaks out really fast. The saline is absorbed by the body and the deflated implant will need to be surgically removed. On the other hand, when a silicone implant ruptures it is a bit more of a mess. Silicone tends to be sticky, so it can be hard to impossible to completely remove all of it. When an implant breaks, there could be pain, bumps, tenderness, tingling, and even numbness in her breasts. Sometimes, there can be what is called "silent rupture" where the gel slowly migrates to other parts of the body. Studies done by MRI's show that seventy-nine percent of women with silicone implants had at least one ruptured implant but didn't know about it.

Women with silicone implants are more likely to have fibromyalgia, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, other connective



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