Women who have breast implants and go on to have breast cancer have a greater risk of dying from the disease than those without, a study suggests.
Researchers said that patients with cosmetic implants have a 38 per cent higher risk of dying from breast cancer than women who do not have implants.
The small study, published on bmj.com, also found that women with implants could be diagnosed with breast cancer at a later stage than those without.
Previous research has suggested that implants can make it more difficult to detect cancer at an early stage because they can create shadows on mammograms that obscure breast tissue.
The authors, based in Canada, examined data from 12 studies, which examined the stage at which breast cancer is diagnosed in patients with and without breast augmentation. They found that women with cosmetic breast implants had a 26 per cent increased risk of being diagnosed at a later stage of cancer than women without implants.
They also looked at a further five studies and found women with implants had a 38 per cent greater risk of death from breast cancer than women without.
However, the authors stressed that the findings should be treated with “caution”.