#5: Breast Implant Illness After Breast Cancer?
Are you or a loved one, one of the many breast cancer survivors who chose to have breast implants as part of your breast reconstruction?
This month on The Crazed to Calm Show we are discussing breast implant illness and I invite you to join us, especially if you have breast implants.
In this episode you'll discover:
- What exactly is Breast Implant Illness?
- Why you don't need to beat yourself up!
- What is your body telling you?
1. What exactly is Breast Implant Illness?
According to Breastcancer.org. Breast implant illness (BII) is a condition that isn't well understood but that can be debilitating. The symptoms vary from person to person and can include fatigue, joint pain, memory and concentration problems, and more.
Breast implant illness (BII) refers to a wide range of symptoms that develop in some people who have reconstruction or augmentation with breast implants.
BII isn’t an official medical diagnosis because it’s still not well understood. But some experts believe BII symptoms may be caused by an autoimmune or inflammatory reaction to the implants.
BII can affect people with any type of breast implant, including silicone gel-filled, saline-filled, smooth surface, textured surface, round, or teardrop-shaped.
BII can develop whether implants have ruptured or stayed intact.
BII is not the same as the rare types of cancer that can develop in the scar tissue and fluid surrounding a breast implant, such as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), other forms of lymphoma, and breast implant-associated squamous cell carcinoma (BIA-SCC).
2. Why you don’t need to beat yourself up!
When we are faced with having a mastectomy or double mastectomy, we can often feel rushed, scared, clueless about life without breasts and how we might feel. Afraid that we will no longer feel feminine or be attractive to our partners.
There’s so many complex emotions that can come rushing in and we feel like we’re under the gun to make decisions.
Your plastic surgeon may not have really given you all of your options, I know mine didn’t mention going flat and when I questioned the safety of breast implants, she assured me that the type we were going to use were safe. (She was correct when it comes to the rare cancers associated with breast implants!)
According to fortune business: breast implants were a 3 billion dollar business in 2022 and growing. Even though they now come with a black box safety warning! They are still considered a business!
I know that I wasn’t sure as a 52 year old woman how I would feel without breasts…as Dr. Amanda Savage Brown talks about in her book Busting Free, we all have a breast rule book, where our minds have formed rules about breasts, such as how they should look (full, round, perky, youthful, symmetrical)
We can have thoughts around the proportions of our body, and what breasts mean to intimacy and social acceptance.
I chose to get breast implants…but I also said that if for whatever reason they don’t work in my body…I’m taking them out. I believe that we don’t need to beat ourselves up for decisions we’ve previously made…thinking they were the right choice at that time.
Forgiving yourself for what you didn't know in the past is key to healing! Had you known better, you may have made different choices.
Forgive yourself. Not just once.
Again, and again, and again.
As many times as it takes to find peace.
~ Unknown ~
3. What is your body telling you?
BII affects everyone differently. Symptoms and signs of breast implant illness can include:
- joint and muscle pain
- chronic fatigue
- memory and concentration problems
- breathing problems
- sleep disturbance
- rashes and other skin problems
- dry mouth and dry eyes
- hair loss
- gastrointestinal problems
These symptoms may look much like side-effects from medications, we'll be talking about that more in the next episode.
BII symptoms can appear any time after implant surgery — some people start to develop breast implant illness symptoms immediately, while some develop them years later.
If you suspect that you might be suffering from BII, I suggest using a journal to follow your symptoms...a book I found very helpful in doing this was Let Me Get This Off My Chest and the Journal my Journey by Tara Hopko
A lot of the symptoms of BII are associated with autoimmune and connective tissue disorders, such as lupus, & rheumatoid arthritis. Some people who have BII also get diagnosed with a specific autoimmune or connective tissue disorder, but many do not.
In many, but not all cases, surgery to remove the breast implants improves or completely resolves the BII symptoms.
Although research is underway to figure out the exact cause of BII, it’s not currently an official diagnosis.
“BII is a cluster of symptoms that don’t fit into any other classic disease diagnosis,” says Diana Zuckerman, PhD, president of the National Center for Health Research and a researcher who studies breast implant safety issues. “We believe that it eventually will be recognized as a medical condition, but that process will take time.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the major plastic surgery societies, and other health authorities have been devoting more attention to BII than they have in the past. In October 2021, the FDA began requiring breast implant manufacturers to include information about the risk of symptoms that affect the whole body in a boxed warning on breast implant packaging and in a patient decision checklist that is included in patient information booklets.
Currently, there are no commonly used diagnostic tests or diagnostic criteria specifically for BII.
If you'd like to learn more about Breast Implant Illness, I've been invited to speak at an amazing event coming up that aims to address the effects of breast implants and breast implant illness head-on by providing a safe platform for education, research, and support:
EXPLANT SECRETS SUMMER SUMMIT
At this Groundbreaking FREE event, you will:
🎯 Gain empowering knowledge about breast implant illness and its impact
🎯 Uncover expert insights from some of the most influential doctors and survivors worldwide!
🎯 Discover effective strategies for healing
🎯 Connect with a supportive community of women just like you!
🌸 Don't miss out on this one of a kind life-transforming event! Click below to get all the details and reserve your FREE spot now! 🌸
Powerful throat-centered herbs, and the essence of aquamarine fortify our 5th Chakra Blend to assist those seeking to heal and balance issues dealing with communication, creativity, and self-expression. An important skill in not only communicating with others, but also listening to yourself.