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Buddy Check 3

Buddy Check 3

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Buddy Check 3 Radiation and Breast Implants

Updated: Tuesday, March 19 2013, 11:01 AM CDT
Breast implants can complicate the detection of cancers -- but what about the treatment?

In today's Buddy Check Three, Channel Three's Kathryn Daniel continues her look into breast implants and how they may impact a woman's recovery from breast cancer.

Board Certified General Surgeon Doctor Michael Caluda says he often operates on breast cancer patients with implants -- and their presence makes surgery more involved.

Dr. Michael Caluda/Board Certified General Surgeon; "In patients who present with larger cancers it is more difficult because often the cancer will grow in close proximity to the implant and then we worry about our ability to remove the cancer with it being in contact with the implant."

Doctor Caluda says often the implant can be spared -- but in the cases where it would have to be removed -- he says he can then usually preserve the skin envelope of the breast itself and a new implant put in later.

Dr. Michael Caluda; "Our approach to Breast Cancer is to always try to remove the cancer, take care of it appropriately but preserve a cosmetic appearance for the patient which I believe is at least as important as taking care of the cancer."

For many breast cancer patients, radiation is the next treatment step after surgery.

Dr. Rod Krentel/Radiation Oncologist; "Implants are usually saline or silicone and radiation doesn't really change that. It's really more of what it does to the skin surrounding the tissue, inducing fibrosis or what have you."

Radiation Oncologist Doctor Rod Krentel says radiation goes through an implant, and removal prior to treatment is so rare he's never seen it in twelve years of practice.

He says some research shows radiation does affect the skin and its appearance

Dr. Rod Krentel; "Radiation causes some fibrosis, some thickening of the skin and sometimes can change the texture of a breast and most patients who don't have augmentation it's really not a big deal. But when you start stretching the skin, such as patients who do have an implant, sometimes that can make a difference. But again, in my practice I haven't really seen that happen very often."

Caluda says with implants or not -- early detection is the key for breast cancer treatment -- and even when surgery is needed -- he's optimistic about a woman's chances for recovery and normalcy.

Dr. Michael Caluda; "In over 80 percent of cases, we can preserve the breast completely, remove the cancer completely, treat it freely and the patient can have a wonderful cosmetic outcome."Buddy Check 3 Radiation and Breast Implants

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