Breast screening using mammograms can detect breast cancer at a very early stage and is offered to women aged 50-70 every 3 years on the NHS. In some countries, such as the USA, breast screening starts at age 40 and is recommended yearly. Breast screening reduces the number of deaths from breast cancer.
A commonly asked question by women with breast implants is “will a mammogram damage my implants?”
A mammogram involves pressing each breast between 2 plates on an X-ray machine, therefore theoretically there may be a small risk that the pressure can harm the implant. However, only minimal pressure is used and there is currently NO evidence to demonstrate that mammograms can cause a rupture.
Screening mammograms do not check your implants. If you think you might have a problem with one or both implants, you should have your symptoms reviewed by a breast surgeon. You may require specialist imaging.
Women with breast implants for reconstruction do not require screening mammograms. This is because the breast tissue has been removed.
All women, with or without implants, should be breast aware. This means knowing how your breasts normally look and feel, and reporting any unusual changes to your doctor as soon as possible.
Use these 3 simple steps routinely (“TLC”as advised by Breast Cancer Now)
• TOUCH your breasts. Can you feel anything unusual?
• LOOK for changes. Is there any change in shape or texture?
• CHECK anything unusual with your doctor