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Buddy Check 3 "Breast Implants"

Updated: Tuesday, March 19 2013, 11:01 AM CDT
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA - Breast implants date back to the 1960's -- and they are more popular than ever.

More than 200-thousand women opt for them each year.

In today's Buddy Check Three report, we find out how -- and if -- augmentation affects the diagnosis of breast cancer.

Radiologist Tim Boyette spends most of his days reading mammograms at Sacred Heart Hospital's Ann Baraco Center.

He often sees films on a patients who have had breast implants.

Dr. Tim Boyette/SHH Radiologist; "It definitely makes it tougher. Most research shows that about 10-20% of breast tissue is missed in diagnostic mammograms when a patient has breast implants compared to a woman who does not have breast implants."

Boyette says a small percentage of women with breast implants avoid mammograms -- for fear of rupture -- which is a very slight risk.

Veteran mammography technician Merlene Bailey has had breast implants for 17 years...She often shares her personal and work histories with nervous patients who worry about possible complications.

Merlene Bailey/SSH Mammogram Technician; "In 23 years, I've never seen a mammo tech or worked in a hospital that ruptured an implant."

Bailey says mammograms performed on implant patients are a little different.

Merlene Bailey; "It really doesn't complicate, it just, you actually take more pictures, you have eight pictures instead of four."

Doctor Boyette says because of the double amount of views, it takes him twice as long to read an implant patient's films -- and biopsies can be more complicated.

Dr. Tim Boyette; "Locally the lesion is sometimes difficult because the implants can sometimes obscure the lesion and can make locating the lesion more technically challenging."

Boyette says while diagnosing breast cancer in an implant patient may be more involved -- the general outcome is usually very positive.

Dr. Tim Boyette; "Most research shows the long-term prognosis, death rates, mortality related to patients with breast implants compared to those without breast implants is actually very similar."

Boyette also says it's important to dispel the myth that links implants to cancer.

Dr. Tim Boyette; "It should be emphasized that Breast Cancer is not caused by breast implants, there is no research data to support that.

In next month's Buddy Check Three report, we'll find out how implants affect the treatment of breast cancer.

And you can check out all of our "Buddy Check Three" reports...By logging on to our website, weartv.com.Buddy Check 3 "Breast Implants"


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