Study: Breast cancer survivors report improved quality of life with silicone, rather than saline implants

Nov 22, 2010

Survey finds breast reconstruction patients more satisfied with silicone than saline

Women who undergo mastectomy - the partial or complete removal of one or both breasts - as part of their cancer treatment generally say silicone implants are more satisfactory than those made with saline, according to a study by researchers at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

To perform the study, researchers distributed 672 surveys to patients who underwent breast reconstruction after their mastectomy. Just under 500 completed the questionnaires, revealing that 306 of the patients received saline implants, while 176 got silicone.

According to the researchers, the proportion of patients who reported themselves satisfied with their implants was higher among those who got silicone implants. However, the study's lead author, Dr. Colleen McCarthy, cautioned that a number of factors impacted patients' general level of satisfaction.

Quality of life can be an important consideration for post-mastectomy breast cancer patients, as they will have to contend with the threat of recurrence and elevated health and life insurance premiums due to their condition even after being declared cancer-free, experts say. 

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