On March 21, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement that a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can develop after a person receives breast implants, based on more than 350 reports of this type of cancer and its connection to breast implants.
Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
In 2011, the FDA identified a link between breast implants and the development of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare type of non-Holdgkin’s lymphoma.
A 2016 paper published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal suggests that chronic inflammation could play a role. Some studies have found markers of chronic inflammation contained in the scar tissue around breast implants, which may suggest that an immune response to the implants could trigger the cancer.
According to the FDA, women with breast implants have an increased risk of developing ALCL compared to those who do not have breast implants. Researchers are still working to discover how breast implants may be linked to ALCL.
Risk of Lymphoma Higher in Textured Implants
The majority of women who have a confirmed diagnosis of BIA-ALCL had textured breast implants. Of the 231 reports of ALCL received by the FDA, 203 related to textured implants, while only 28 involved smooth implants. Although it is not clear why the risk of cancer is higher among those with textured breast implants, the body appears to react differently to the textured ones.
The FDA continues to evaluate information about why women with textured implants are at a higher risk for this diagnosis. According to the FDA, those who developed ALCL ranged in age from 25 to 91, and the average time between the implant surgery and the cancer diagnosis was seven years, although, in at least one case, the time period was 40 years
What Should I do If I Have Breast Implants?
The agency advised that those who are considering breast implants should speak with their physicians concerning the risks and benefits of textured implants versus smooth implants. Furthermore, it is important that all women with breast implants comply with the recommended follow-up care given to them by their doctors.
Breast Implant Lawsuits
Two California women suffering from pain, nausea, skin rashes and extreme fatigue that they believe are tied to leaking implants filed lawsuits against Mentor Worldwide, a Johnson & Johnson unit. The first breast implant lawsuit was filed in San Francisco in September 2016 and a second breast implant lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles in February 2017.
Breast Implant lawyers believe the problems with Mentor’s silicone implants may be pervasive and thousands of women may be harmed.
Breast Implant Cancer Lawsuit
Breast implant lawyers are currently speaking to women who developed ALCL and who believe their breast implants may be the cause. We expect breast implant cancer lawsuits to be filed shortly and will continue to update the public as these cases develop.
- 1992 – Regulators ban the use of silicone-based breast implants because of risk of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis
- 1999 – Dow Corning Corp, once the largest maker of implants, seeks bankruptcy after a $4 billion settlement to women for implants
- 1995 – Dow agrees to pay $3.2 billion in settlement to injured women and emerges from bankruptcy
- 2008 – J&J Purchases Mentor for $1.1 billion after it is the first device maker to win approval to reintroduce silicone breast implants.
- 2011 – FDA links breast implants to rare form of lymphoma
- 2016 – 2017 – Breast Implant Lawsuits filed on behalf of women who believe their injuries are linked to leaking silicone breast implants
- 2/2017 – FDA receives 359 medical device reports lining implants with BIA-ALCL, a rare form of lymphoma