More women diagnosed with cancer linked to breast implants

Modesto Morganelli
Febbraio 10, 2019

The textured implants have become increasingly popular because women don't have to worry about getting the implant re-positioned.

More women have been diagnosed with a deadly lymphoma caused by breast implants, according to a report released Wednesday from the Food and Drug Administration.

The cases are related to breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that can develop in the scar tissue surrounding an implant.

The cancer, which affects cells in the immune system, is found in the breasts where the implant is located.

"Given the agency's continued efforts to communicate with stakeholders about BIA-ALCL risks and our work to encourage patients and providers to file MDRs with the agency, these types of increases in the MDRs are to be expected and may include past cases that were not previously reported to the FDA", Ashar wrote.

In addition, the agency issued a letter to providers, including primary care physicians and gynecologists, encouraging to learn about BIA-ALCL and its risks.

"We want to ensure that all providers who treat patients with breast implants have information regarding identification, diagnosis and treatment", Ashar said.

This "makes it more hard to know if any particular breast implant characteristic is associated with BIA-ALCL or if higher reports of BIA-ALCL are simply due to higher implantation rate of a particular manufacturer", Ashar said. The products, particularly the textured variety, have over time been associated with varying certainty to autoimmune and connective tissue diseases, reproductive problems and breast and skin cancers.

Smooth implants are softer than their textured counterparts, allowing for a more natural look and feel - but may lead to slightly visible rippling and shifting in position over time. The illness is slow-growing and treatable when it's detected early.

'In patients with breast implants, reported cases of BIA-ALCL were generally found adjacent to the implant itself and contained within the fibrous capsule'.

About 10 million to 11 million women in the world have breast implants, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgeon Foundation.

The FDA first sounded the alarm on BIA-ALCL back in 2011.

It said those who have breast implants should monitor them for any changes and get routine screenings such as mammograms or MRIs. It asked doctors whether they'd noticed changes in their patients and urged women to check for symptoms such as fluid buildup or a mass around their implants.

Since that report, the scientific community has learned more about the link between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

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