Vision Magazine


Breast Implants & Breast Cancer: No Easy Answers

We have grave concern. Over 185,000 American women ~ our sisters ~ will be
diagnosed with breast cancer this year. There are many difficult decisions
that must be made in a fairly short time with no easy answers ~ no
guarantees. Whether or not to have breast implants is one of the most

Our glorious bodies are truly unique ~ each of us responds differently to
various substances at various times. One bright woman who thought she had
thoroughly researched the literature learned the hard way. She ended up
having an emergency implant removal six months later ~ this to a body
still healing from the cancer, invasive surgery, and now toxic silicone

Understandably, no woman wants to lose her breasts. And the promise of
"even better breasts than before" is so enticing.

Regrettably, there are no safe implants. The FDA allows saline implants to
stay on the market (after banning silicone gel in 1992) ~ but has not been
convinced of their safety. 33,000
ill women have already complained to theFDA about saline implants and it is recommended that they be replaced before their short life span of 4~7 years collapses them without warning. This assures multiple surgeries ~ to bodies whose immune systems havealready been assaulted by cancer and extensive surgery.

{As of FDA Medwatch, February, 2000 Update - Over 65,000 reported adverse affects with saline implants.}

Cancer and implant survivor, retired Professor of Health Education,
Henrietta Farber, recently summarized the feelings of many who know,

"The cancer was challenging.
The implants almost killed me."

The surgery to remove her disintegrated and ruptured implants was hard
enough, but then 2 years later she had to endure an even more invasive
surgery to take out the extensive scar capsule that the surgeon had left
to fester.

Sometimes mammography can break the implants. And all implants mask tumors
normally discovered by doctor- or self-examination. Former nurse, Mary
Jane Bradley found this out the hard way. Hidden behind her 10 year old
implants were 5 tumors ~ very well developed.

Most every woman loves her implantswhile she¹s still healthy. I¹ve
asked hundreds of women, though whose once vital health has failed them,
whether it was "worth it."

To a woman, each one responded that she'd give anything to have her health
back ~ and had she known then what she knows now, she would never have
chosen to have an unapproved medical device put into her body.

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1997©Ilena Rosenthal

Vision Magazine

Ilena Rosenthal heads the 33-year-old Humantics Foundation for Women. She
is an advocate for women with breasts implants and those considering
getting them.