Rare Cancer Linked To Certain Breast Implants, Says FDA

Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma linked to breast implants
FDA: More data on link between certain breast implants and anaplastic large-cell lymphoma.

On Tuesday the US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, announced that as of February, it had received 359 reports of a rare cancer that may be linked to certain types of breast implants.

The cancer in question is not actually breast cancer but a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or ALCL.

In 9 of the 359 known cases the patient died.

Certain breast implants were implicated in ALCL as far back as 2008, when pathologists from the Netherlands linked 11 cases to silicone implants. The FDA made that same association in 2011. But the FDA’s recent data suggests that it may not be the implants’ fill type women should worry about–it may be the implants’ texture.

Of the 359 ALCL cases the FDA is looking at, 203 of them were in women who had received “textured” implants. Only 28 involved smooth implants. (In some cases, the texture of the implant was not reported.)

Recommendations For Women With Breast Implants

Rare cancer linked to breast implants
ALCL is still very rare, implants or not.

Even with this new information the FDA has stopped short of actually recommending that women avoid textured implants. The agency is, however, recommending that any woman considering this surgery discuss the risks and benefits of all the different implant options available to her.

It also stopped short of officially advising doctors to steer women away from textured implants. It did, however, encourage physicians to be proactive with any patient experiencing post-surgery complications.

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Photo credit: Pixabay users luctheo, Takmeomeo, msahbee0