The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that breast implants can cause a rare form of cancer. The agency is currently reviewing more than 350 reports it has received that link both saline and silicone breast implants with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The FDA reports that there have already been nine deaths linked to the breast implants.
According to national statistics, breast implants is the second most popular cosmetic surgery. Liposuction is number one. There are more than 300,000 procedures performed each year.
In 2011, the FDA concluded that half of all women who get implants after a mastectomy and 20 percent of women who get implants for cosmetic reasons need to have the implants removed within 10 years.
It was also the same year that the FDA began receiving reports about the possible link between ALCL and breast implants. As the agency was investigating the increasing number of reports being filed, the World Health Organization (WHO) also began to study the possible link. WHO has confirmed that breast implants cause ALCL in a recently published report.
According to both the FDA and the WHO report, it can take approximately 10 years after an implant procedure for the cancer to begin developing. Typically, the cancer stays in the area of the implant, but it can break out and metastasize.
The FDA reports that there appears to be more of risk of developing the cancer for women who received textured implants compared to smooth implants. The first indication there may be an issue is if pain and swelling develops. Treatment involves removing the implants and following up with radiation and chemotherapy.
Upon hearing of the FDA announcement, Attorney Boyk commented, “There have been so many medical issues over the past several years for women who have had implants, including cancers and autoimmune diseases. Any woman who is considering this surgery really needs to do through research and find out all the risks truly involved. Anyone who has had issues with breast implants, or any other type of medical device, should seek medical treatment right away.”