Breast implants linked to rare cancer, 9 deaths to date FDA says

Posted March 23, 2017

The FDA has received more than 350 reports, including the nine deaths, as of February 1, about breast implant-linked anaplastic large cell lymphoma, ALCL, an extremely rare cancer that affects the immune system. The FDA has received 359 reports of ALCL cases tied to breast implants, including nine people who've died from the cancer.

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

The agency said it is continuing to collect and evaluate data on cases of lymphoma linked to breast implants, but warned that current data on fill and surface type are limited.

Nine deaths from a rare form of cancer have been linked to breast implants, the Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday. The issue which might have occurred regards the textured implants which might have a gravelly surface instead of being smooth.

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The FDA recommends patients educate themselves on the different options associated with breast implants, particularly as it relates to texture. Breast implants approved in the US can be filled with either saline or silicone gel and come in different sizes and shapes and have either smooth or textured shells. However, usually when the lymphoma pops up, simply removing the implant and surrounding tissue eliminates the disease, though some women may need chemotherapy and radiation, as well.

Still freaked out? According to the FDA, symptoms of the lymphoma include pain, swelling, and fluid build-up (which could all also indicate other problems), so if you have implants and notice anything unusual going on, talk to your doctor to see what the deal is.

Under scrutiny are implants with a textured surface - the most common type in the USA, accounting for 99 percent of all used.

Its recommendation to healthcare providers is to continue to proved patients with breast implants with "routine care and support". In 2011, the FDA updated safety guidelines regarding breast augmentation procedures, especially silicone-filled implants. World Health Organization said the disease often presents itself as fluid build-up near the implant.

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

"Follow your doctor's instructions on how to monitor your breast implants". The first reported case of a woman with breast implants developing ALCL was published in a 1997 letter to the journal Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.

People with silicone gel implants should get magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to look for leaks.

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