My wife had silicone gel breast implants 22 years ago. The radiologist reported her mamogram last week shows either calcification, scar tissue, or leaking implants, but benign for cancer. The plastic surgeon who originally performed the operation says calcification can mask the presence of cancer. How can my wife determine for sure there's no cancer before she has her breast implants replaced?
Dear concernedhusband: A radiologist interprets mammograms as being more or less suspicious for cancer. While certain patterns of calcifications do cluster around cancers, calcifications can also occur independently of cancer. There is no way to "guarantee" based on mammography that there is no cancer, particularly in a person with implants (implants can make mammography difficult to interpret). Mammography is not a perfect test - but it is the best we have. I would recommend having a discussion with the radiologist about what he saw and whether or not a biopsy is indicated. A biopsy is the only way to be certain if an abnormality is benign or malignant. If you are still concerned, you could seek another opinion regarding reading the mammogram.
I have a related question: Is it possible for a calcium deposit to occur in just a few months after breast augmentation? I had a normal mamogram prior to my augmetation and then at three month follow up visit after augmetation noticed a round pea-sized lump at the outer edge top portion of implant. It is definately not the implant itself, but rather is just next to it. To me it would be logical that it could be a calcium deposit, but my doctor said there wasn't anything done in that area and can't explain why it would be there. I am surprised the doctor said that. After all, a pocket was made in the muscle and an implant inserted, so surounding tissue certainly is affected, no?
I am going to a surgeon and I am just hoping that he doesn't want to do anyting radical. Can you comment on this subject? Thank You.
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