Silicone breast implants have become highly controversial and safety of these implants has been hotly debated for many years. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) conducted a study on the long term health effects associated with silicone breast implants.
NCI study involves 13,500 women with an average follow up time of 13 years. Earlier investigations had studied the health effects for shorter periods less than 10 years. Earlier studies had not included information such as types of implants, medical history, screening practices and lifestyle behaviors. The health risks of the implant patients were compared with other plastic surgery patients in addition to the general population.
13,500 women who had undergone implant surgery for cosmetic reasons were compared with 4,000 women who had some other type of plastic surgery such as fat removal from stomach or wrinkles from neck etc. This was also compared with general population. No clinical examinations were done at this stage. Only the previous records were verified and questionnaires were mailed to obtain their response for the study.
The report of the study revealed the following
- No association could be established between breast implants and subsequent risk of breast cancer.
- Women with implants were not at increased risk for most cancers other than respiratory and brain cancers. Reason for the increased risk is not clear.
- Women with implants were not at increased risk for most causes of death, except for death from suicide, brain and respiratory cancers. Reason for increased risk is not clear.
- Women with implants were not at increased risks for connective tissue disorders.
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