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Research finds no link between silicone-gel implants and increased risk for serious disease

Article-Research finds no link between silicone-gel implants and increased risk for serious disease

Nashville, Tenn. — According to a review conducted at Vanderbilt University’s Ingram Cancer Center, women who receive silicone gel-filled breast implants do not have a higher risk of breast cancer or other cancers and do not experience lower survival rates after a diagnosis of breast cancer, reports news source

The review, appearing in the November issue of the Annals of Plastic Surgery, reportedly is the first exhaustive look in nearly 10 years at the effects cosmetic breast implants have on health.

The review was led by Joseph McLaughlin, Ph.D., professor of medicine at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. He and his team surveyed the epidemiological evidence on the safety of breast implants, including numerous large cohort studies that had long-term follow-up data. The review also addressed various noncancer outcomes.

In short, the review found no causal associations between silicone breast implants and health issues such as connective-tissue disease, neurologic disease or birth defects in children born to women with implants. quoted Dr. McLaughlin as saying, “Few implantable medical devices have been investigated for safety hazards more extensively than silicone gel-filled breast implants. For almost three decades, researchers around the world have been conducting in-depth studies on the health of women with implants to determine if there are significant health risks. The evidence is clear that implants are not linked to serious disease.”

The researchers reviewed several large studies that used control groups to provide comparison data and found that while the sensitivity of mammography may be reduced somewhat by the implants, women with implants, in fact, do not present with more advanced cases of breast cancer or suffer from lower survival rates after diagnosis with breast cancer, both of which would indicate interference by the implants. There is also no evidence that the implants caused higher rates of cancer, regardless of anatomic site.

According to the review, the only cancer risk cited in any of the incidence studies was a significant increase in lung cancer in a large group of Swedish women who’d had breast implants. An earlier survey of these same women, however, found that they were 2.8 times more likely to be current smokers than the general female population, the researchers note.

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