FDA Links Breast Implants To A Rare Form Of Cancer

Judith QuinnMar 23, 2017

It comes after the federal agency received reports from 359 women claiming a link between their implants and their diagnosis of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

But, for now, the FDA is saying "most data" is pointing to ALCL development with textured breast implants and not smooth ones.

The researchers found out that most of the cancer cases occurred in those women who had textured surfaces on their breast implants in comparison to the women who had smooth surfaces.

While saline implants contain sterile salt water and can be inserted empty (to be infused during cosmetic surgery), silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone gel, whose texture closely resembles natural tissue. ALCL is not a form of breast cancer, but it grows in the breast in implant patients. But it's easily treated if caught early, which typically happens when women start suffering pain and swelling. Less than 10 patients are diagnosed with breast implant-associated ALCL annually. Some cases have required chemo and radiation.

In the United States, approximately 290,000 women underwent surgery for breast enlargement in 2016.

Breast implants have been confirmed to increase the risk of cancer, regulators have confirmed.

People with breast implants have a small but increased risk for a rare form of deadly cancer. That seems to occur more often with textured implants - rather than ones with a smooth surface - but many reports didn't include that information, the FDA said.

FDA received about 359 reports of cancer cases related to breast implants.

France's National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM) also has asked manufacturers of textured breast implants to perform biocompatibility testing, or what FDA says is "testing to determine how living tissues react to textured implants", and to report their findings within a year.

"Follow your doctor's instructions on how to monitor your breast implants". Surgeons should consider the possibility of developing lymphoma after several years after the implant surgery.

The FDA said that people who are considering getting breast implants should talk with their doctors about the benefits and risks of textured implants versus smooth implants. "Of these, 186 reported implants filled with silicone gel and 126 reported implants filled with saline", the administration continued.

A possible association between breast implants and anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) was first identified in 2011 but at the time few cases had been recorded.

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