Breast Implants & Breast Self Examinations

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If you have breast implants it is still a good idea to self examine on a regular basis in order to detect any changes in your breast material at an early stage.  You ought to be able to distinguish the implant from your breast tissue, and feel around your implants to detect any hardness, lumps or bumps.  These might not indicate breast cancer, and might be nothing more than a benign tissue growth or calcification however it is worth making a note of any changes and asking your doctor about them just in case.

How to perform a breast self examination if you have implants

  • Use a mirror.  Stand up in front of a mirror and study your breasts both with your arms by your side and with your arms in the air.  This will alert you to any changes in colour, size, position and shape of your breasts.
  • For further examination lie flat on your back.  This evens out the tissue and makes it as thin as possible so that you can better feel for discrepancies.  Use small, round patterns to feel for any lumps and vary the amount of pressure that you place on your breast. 
  • Feel for difference in size that previously didn’t exist.  If your implant feels smaller then it might be due to a rupture.
  • Take note of the shape of your breast, any differences might be an early warning
  • Look at the position, shape and colour of the nipple
  • Feel for any lumps or bumps, breast are naturally quite lumpy but if there are any new ones, or large lumps these must be taken seriously
  • Feel for general hardness, this might indicate that something is going on
  • Examine the implant itself for any changes in texture.  Dents or depressions of your implant might be indicative of a problem.

Don’t forget that your breasts go through a monthly cycle as your hormone levels rise and fall.  It is a good idea to create a diary of your self-examinations so that you know what is normal for your breasts throughout your cycle. 

If you notice any differences during your breast self-examination then it is a good idea to seek medical help and have a scan performed.  There are other reasons for changes in your breast tissue other than cancer, however it is best to know for sure the reason behind the changes.

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