According to a recent paper published on bmj.com, breast tissues of young women who had undergone breast augmentation are being screened for cancer without their consent. Though this is common, such practices can lead to further surgery without any evidence of benefit. As such, this has become a subject of debate especially after a team of breast surgeons from the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust and Royal Free and University College Medical School in London found cancer after a routine cosmetic procedure on a 37 year old woman. This discovery led to a succession of further operations.

Highlights of the debate
a. Such a practice can help prepare patients for the future where they would have to take complex decisions.
b. However, most experts opine that careful, expert review of this matter is required before it can be taken any further.
c. Obtaining informed consent from patients for screening and orientating will mitigate some of the ethical issues involved.
d. However, the likelihood of the specimens being malignant is small.
e. Many experts believe that there are no identifiable benefits to the patient.
f. It is often not possible to identify exactly where in the breast the tissue came from because tissue specimens are not orientated during surgery.
g. Patient management in case of malignancy remains uncertain.