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Could cancer be a consequence of having a breast lift?

Q:

I need a breast lift, but I am concerned about the after effects of the surgery.  Could cancer be a consequence of breast lift surgery?

A:

A breast lift cannot cause cancer. Breast cancer is related to abnormalities that begin in the ducts of the breast tissue. As the process evolves in many instances it is picked up by identifying microcalcifications on a mammogram. Self examination plays an important role as well in identifying breast lumps early and having them evaluated. A breast lift or mastopexy is not a cause of cancer.

R. Whitfield, MD

A:

The evidence shows that there is no relationship between breast cancer and breast lift or any other breast surgery. You should, however, have a mammogram before your surgery to eliminate the possibility of a preexisting cancer.

R.T. Buchanan, MD

A:

A breast lift (mastopexy) cannot cause breast cancer. It is important to know that any breast surgery does cause some internal breast scars so it is wise to have a pre-operative mammogram if you are 35-40 years old or older (this will vary from doctor to doctor). Your board-certified plastic surgeon will be able to review with you the issues surrounding your surgical options. I hope this helps.

M.C. Edwards, MD

A:

Breast surgery of any kind has never been shown to cause cancer nor is such a causal relationship conceivable. Since approximately 11 % of women will develop breast cancer sometime in their lives, it is conceivable that breast cancer may be pre-existing or may develop in women undergoing breast lift surgery. A frank discussion about your concerns with a board-certified plastic surgeon is strongly recommended and a mammorgram prior to such a proceedure may be advised.

D.L. Davis, MD

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