I could really use some help with this, so any words of wisdom are greatly appreciated!
My mother (aged 75) was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, and opted for a bi-lateral mastectomy with reconstruction. Her implants were placed in 2003 - they were Mentor brand, 50% saline (interior) and 50% silicon (exterior). She has not really had any "upkeep" in the way of mammograms, as the only thing she has are the implants.
Everything seemed okay until a couple of weeks ago. She asked to me to look at her and see if one breast looked swollen. It was hard to say, but her left breast did look "different" and a little "misshapened." She said she had some pain under her left arm. I told her to call her doctor (she has changed insurances, and can no longer self-refer herself to the plastic surgeon who performed the implant surgery). She was able to see her doctor that day, who didn't think there was anything wrong, and thought it might be due to stress. My mother knows of another woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer who is currently having a recurrence, and she is a bit stressed about it. However, the doctor did order some x-rays and an MRI. My mother was able to have the x-rays taken that day, and her MRI is scheduled for this Thursday.
In this short amount of time (a week), the pain has become somewhat intense. She cannot raise her arm to get the seat belt in the car, it hurts to walk the dogs, she's losing sleep. The pain has now crept to her left side and down the upper part of left arm. It hurts to sneeze, and she cannot really draw a deep breath. Since breast cancer can spread to the lung, that was her first concern, but she really exhibits no signs/symptoms of that. My concern is that perhaps her implant has ruptured or developed a leak - but I'm not sure what type of symptoms or pain, if any, accompanies that.
To top everything off, this morning she thinks she found a hard "knot" or lump at the bottom of the left breast (remember, there is no breast tissue here, it is all implant).
I've tried researching stuff on the Internet, but all it says is: there might be pain. But THIS kind of pain?? To keep an old woman up at night crying?!?!? Has anyone here experienced a rupture of a silicon implant? What were the symptoms? I do know if an implant ruptures, it has to be removed, but how complicated is it, if the silicon has seeped into the body? After the mastectomy, and the expanders to get the implants, I just cannot imagine my mother going through anymore.
I apologize for the length of this, but all replies are appreciated. Thank you!