Prevention of Breast Cancer in Patients with Siliconomas

  • Daniel L. DebonisEmail author


In Japan, after the Second World War ended, numerous barrels of industrial silicone mysteriously disappeared from shipping docks. This silicone largely was used by prostitutes, who sought to have it injected into their breasts, since the small breasts typical of Asian woman were not well received by Western clients. Intramammary siliconomas, due to their density, generate opacities that interfere with diagnostic imaging in two ways: they can either simulate a carcinoma (some have spiculated borders), or they may avoid early detection of cancerous lesions by superposition.

Breast cancer is the most frequent malignant tumor in women and its incidence has increased in recent years. In 1975, roughly 1 in 11 women were estimated to be at risk of developing breast cancer; now, it is 1 in 8.

According to data from the National Cancer Institute, the 5-year survival rate for localized breast cancer is 98%. Undoubtedly, this auspicious number is linked to early diagnosis. In this context, it is paradoxical that some women, via the intentional injection of liquid silicone to achieve increased breast size, continue to deprive themselves of this benefit of earlier breast cancer detection since this interferes with the diagnostic images used to diagnose early-stage breast cancer.

The primary objective of this chapter is to indicate the medical resources available for the prevention of breast cancer in silicone injection patients. For this, it is important to separate patients who are at high risk versus those at “standard or habitual” risk of cancer development, since it is on that basis that we plan our strategy.


Silicone carcinogenesis Breast cancer diagnosis Risk factors Ultrasound Mammography MRI Silicone migration Treatment 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oncology Surgery Division, Hospital de Clínicas, José de San Martín, Faculty of MedicineBuenos AiresArgentina

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