FDA warns breast implants linked to deadly cancer

Women with breast implants have an increased risk of developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma

Women with breast implants have an increased risk of developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning Wednesday about a rare and deadly cancer linked to breast implants.

The agency announced that 457 women have been diagnosed with large cell lymphoma in the USA linked to breast implants.

While the FDA's medical device reporting system allows patients, providers and manufacturers to each file their own reports, even if it's about the same case, not every report captures thorough information-such as the type of breast implant, reasons for use and characteristics such as surface texture. There have been more than 600 cases of BIA-ACLC recorded globally in which 16 women have died, nine coming from the U.S, Dr. Ashar added.

"Letters to these health care providers, like OBGYNs, ER Doctors are critical to the diagnosis of this disease".

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 Daily Mail notes, 'The amount of women diagnosed with BIA-ALCL - which kills cells in the immune system and normally begins with pain and swelling in the breast - shot up from 414 cases in the last 12 months and 359 the year before that ... Women with breast implants have an increased risk of developing it.

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With the risk linked to breast implants, it is also vital that women who consider having an aesthetic operation be made aware of the symptoms of ACLC which include persistent swelling or pain surrounding the implanted area.

In December, Europe blocked French breast implant manufacturer Allergan from selling some of its popular products after concerns grew that they caused cancer.

'In patients with breast implants, reported cases of BIA-ALCL were generally found adjacent to the implant itself and contained within the fibrous capsule'. Textured implants have been shown to more frequently associated with the disease than those that are smooth, though the surface type of implants is not always reported at time of diagnosis.

"For patients, we know the information regarding breast implants can be overwhelming, which is why we are committed to continuing our efforts to provide up-to-date publicly available resources to help understand the known benefits and risks of implants", Ashar said.

'Over time, a fibrous scar called a capsule develops around the implant, separating it from the rest of the breast. "Textured breast implants tend to stick to the body's tissue, helping them stay in the same position over time".

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