Textured breast implants linked to rare form of cancer, new study shows

Updated: Mar. 29, 2019 at 3:02 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A new study shows that textured breast implants could be causing a rare form of cancer.

These breast implants are associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, which is a form of blood cancer that forms around saline or silicone textured implants.

“The body will create the formation of scar and around a breast implant we call it a capsule so it’s the capsule around the texture device that will harbor the AL-CL,” said Dr. Ashish Jain with Jain Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Jain says the risk of getting cancer is low, with the likelihood being anywhere from one in 3,000 to one in 30,000.

“In America alone, we perform somewhere around 350,000 breast augmentation procedures," says Dr. Jain. "That’s a lot of implants.”

While his is not a form of breast cancer, symptoms do occur from the breast only on one side.

“If a patient were to develop AL-CL, then what they would see is swelling of their breast that would occur at least one year out, but on average around eight years out after surgery, those patients need to see their plastic surgeons," said Dr. Jain.

Other symptoms include breast enlargement, pain, overlaying skin rash, hardening or fluid collection.

There have been no confirmed cases of BIA-ALCL with smooth breast implants.

The Food and Drug Administration is highly involved trying to come up with solutions.

“The FDA had a meeting just in the last few days a two-day meeting with thirty plastic surgeon leaders in the field of plastic surgery and specifically it was the surgical devices arm of the FDA,” said Dr. Jain.

When caught early, it is very curable.

Breast cancer patients considering reconstruction should discuss the benefits and risks of different types of implants.

If you do not have any symptoms of the rare cancer and you have textured implants, the FDA does not recommend removal.

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