Rare Cancer Kills Women With Breast Implants

A rare cancer associated with breast implants has led to the deaths of 9 women, according to the FDA.

The cancer, anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), harms cells in the immune system. It is not considered a form of breast cancer.

“All of the information to date suggests that women with breast implants have a very low but increased risk of developing ALCL compared to women who do not have breast implants,” the FDA stated. The agency overall has received 359 possible claims of breast implant related cancer cases. However, the FDA says “remains difficult to determine due to significant limitations in world-wide reporting and lack of global implant sales data.”

Back in 2011, the FDA put forth concerns over a possible relationship between cancer and breast implants. The link is now becoming more defined. When ALCL is detected early, it seems to be manageable.

About 10 to 11 million women in the world have breast implants, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgeon Foundation. Some estimates show 1 in 300,000 of those people are diagnosed with cancer linked to the implants.

Of course, this is a convenient spot to recommend mammograms. In fact, women with breast implants are now being persuaded to get mammograms.

According to MassLive

Mercy Medical Center plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Brian A. Pryor called the Food and Drug Administration’s concurrence Tuesday of a link between a rare form of cancer and breast implants “significant,” and further indication of the need for ongoing patient education around the procedure.

“Any negative ramification from any cosmetic or reconstructive surgery is significant and not something to be dismissed,” Pryor said.

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