Do implants raise the risk of cancer?

The answer is not simple yet

An implant manufacturer funded study finds no risks

A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Dow Study), was funded by Dow Corning, a major manufacturer of silicone. At one time, Dow was the major manufacturer of breast implants. The company has funded almost four dozen research articles in the last decade, all of which conclude that breast implants are safe. However, studies funded by scientists who do not have ties to implant manufacturers have consistently found implant problems that the Dow-funded studies have not. In other words, no reasonable person would trust a study like that, especially in light of another analysis that found that every psychiatric expert involved in writing the standard diagnostic criteria for disorders such as depression and schizophrenia has had financial ties to drug companies that sell medications for those illnesses. So when it comes to medical decisions, you are on your own - you can not trust your doctor or the drug company or anyone else that hopes to profit from your treatment.

Independent study finds many risks

Another study by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI Study) is larger, longer, and better-designed than the Dow-funded study, with findings that are strikingly similar, but different conclusions. Published in the peer-reviewed journal Epidemiology, the NCI study found a 60% increase in deaths from respiratory cancers among women with breast implants compared to other plastic surgery patients. The NCI study also found a doubling of deaths from brain cancer among women with implants, as well as an increase in non-cancerous brain neoplasms.

Suicide risk also higher

The most worrisome finding in the NCI study was the significant increase - - more than double -- in suicides among women with breast implants compared to other plastic surgery patients. Three Dow-funded studies have also found significant increases in suicides among women with implants, all of them comparing implant patients to the general population. The controversy is whether women who want breast implants are more prone to suicide (which would suggest that women are getting plastic surgery when what they need is mental health treatment) or whether breast implants are causing pain, complications, or financial stresses (from repeated surgeries and implant replacements) that are
increasing the risk of suicide.

Platinum poisoning

In our plastic surgery forums, it has been mentioned that dangerous levels of platinum were found in the milk and other body fluids of women who had implants.

Approval of silicone implants

It appears that the FDA is very likely to approve silicone implants in the United States and they may be made available within a matter of months. Cosmetic surgeons in the United States are already preparing for using them. The availability of silicone gel implants will create new options for women considering breast surgery for the first time and for those who have had previous surgeries but are seeking implant replacement or revision. In 2005, almost 300,000 patients underwent breast augmentation procedures, according to the most recent statistics. Since breast implants may not last a lifetime, these patients are among over two million with existing implants who may need upgrades and replacements in the future.

Related:  Breast augmentation    Breast implants    Breast augmentation complication