What’s the relationship between breast implants and cancer risk? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a recall of a certain type of breast implant with a textured surface—BIOCELL, manufactured by Allergan. The FDA acted after reports of 573 cases of cancer and 33 deaths worldwide from a rare lymphoma were associated with these breast implants. In all, 481 of those cancer cases involve patients who, according to the FDA release, “are reported to have Allergan breast implants at the time of diagnosis.”
Known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), this cancer is a rare T-cell type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that is not breast cancer, but rather a cancer of the immune system. The news has many women who have had breast reconstruction after a mastectomy or cosmetic breast augmentation concerned about their health.
According to Susan G. Komen, a few studies have even shown that women with breast implants have a lower risk of breast cancer. But this lower risk is likely due to traits of women who tend to choose breast implants. For instance, these women tend to be thin, which lowers the risk of breast cancer. “The study only demonstrates an association of reduced survival rate from non-localised (advanced) breast cancer in women with breast implants rather than a cause. The authors also quote many papers that show no association between breast implants and an increase in breast cancer.”
40,000 Breast augmentations in 2011.
56% Increase since 2007.
26% Increased risk with an implant of being diagnosed late with breast cancer.
38% Increased risk with an implant of dying from breast cancer.
Read more about: Breast Implant in Iran
Read more about: Radiotherapy for breast cancer
Breast Implant Associated Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is not breast cancer – it is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the immune system). In most cases, BIA-ALCL is found in the scar tissue and fluid near the implant, but in some cases, it can spread throughout the body. An individual’s risk of developing BIA-ALCL is considered to be low; however, this cancer is serious and can lead to death, especially if not treated promptly. In most patients, it is treated successfully with surgery to remove the implant and surrounding scar tissue, and in some patients, also treatment with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
The main symptoms of BIA-ALCL are persistent swelling or pain in the area of the breast implant. These symptoms may occur well after the surgical incision has healed, often years after implant placement.
Upon evaluation by a health care provider, evidence of fluid collection around the breast implant (seroma) is often observed. Some patient reports indicated that a lump under the skin or capsular contracture (thick and noticeable scar capsule around the implant) were present.
Read more about: Breast cancer biopsy
Read more about: Side Effects Of Breast Cancer Treatment
In the case studies reported in the literature, BIA-ALCL is usually found near the breast implant, contained within the fibrous scar capsule, and not in the breast tissue itself. The illustration below shows the location of the ALCL in these reports. In most cases, the ALCL cells were found in the fluid surrounding the implant (seroma) or contained within the fibrous scar capsule.
Breast implants don’t cause breast cancer. They don’t raise your chances of breast cancer, either. But research does show that women with breast implants have a higher chance of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL).
Read more about: Stage 2 Breast Cancer Treatment Timeline
Read more about: Cancer treatment in Iran
Breast implants have a silicone outer shell that can be either smooth or textured, and the main known risk factor for BIA-ALCL is having a textured implant. In January 2011, the FDA announced that women with breast implants seem to be more likely to develop ALCL (anaplastic large cell lymphoma), a rare cancer of the immune system. This apparent link was confirmed.
Experts aren’t entirely sure why breast implants make you more likely to get ALCL. What they do know is that 93% to 96% of the women who get ALCL have textured implants. That means their casing is bumpy instead of smooth.
Like smooth implants, textured implants are used for cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery. Textured implants are less likely to move or cause your skin to ripple. But experts think their textured surface may trigger some women’s immune systems to respond in a way that leads to cancer.
Read more about: breast lift(Mastopexy)
Read more about: Breast implant risks
10 common question about connection between breast implants and cancer
What cancer is linked to breast implants?: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it has decided not to ban textured breast implants that have been linked to a rare cancer that grows in the scar tissue around the breast, known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
Do implants increase risk of breast cancer?: Breast Implants Increase Cancer Risk, Large Lymphoma Study Shows. Breast implants are associated with an increased risk of a rare form of cancer, according to a new study published Thursday in JAMA Oncology. … Some women may even be genetically predisposed to develop this kind of cancer after a breast implant.
Do breast implants cause lymphoma?: BIA-ALCL is a rare and highly treatable type of lymphoma that can develop around breast implants. BIA-ALCL occurs most frequently in patients who have breast implants with textured surfaces. This is a cancer of the immune system, not a type of breast cancer.
What are the symptoms of BIA ALCL?: The most common symptom of BIA-ALCL is excessive fluid buildup around the breast implant, which can cause pain, swelling, or lumps in the breast or armpit. Symptoms usually occur between three and 14 years after implant placement. It is important to recognize the symptoms and see your plastic surgeon should they occur.
Can you die from breast implants?: Cancers and Deaths.
As mentioned above, breast implants can cause a type of cancer of the immune system called ALCL. … There is no research evidence that implants cause breast cancer. However, implants can interfere with detection of breast cancer.
How often should breast implants be replaced?: Some will last a lifetime, while others have complications within seven years. On average, the majority of implants last 10-20 years without complications. Recent FDA reports indicate that about 20% of women will have their breast implants repaired or replaced within 10 years of the original surgery.
What is the most common symptom of breast cancer?: The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancer, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. They can even be painful.
Is it harder to detect cancer with breast implants?: Breast implants may make it more difficult to detect breast cancer at an early stage, a new analysis suggests. In the study of women with breast cancer, those with breast implants tended to be diagnosed at a later stage than women without implants.
Can you detect breast cancer if you have implants?: The American Cancer Society warns that the X-rays used in mammograms cannot go through silicone or saline implants well enough to show the underlying breast tissue where your radiologist is looking for signs of cancer. This means that the part of the breast tissue covered by the implant won\’t be seen on the mammogram.
Are breast implants safe now?: While studies have not found evidence that breast implants, either silicone gel or saline, are connected with serious disease, there are still risks. … Here are some of the breast implant safety issues that you need to consider. The need for further surgeries. Over time, breast implants wear out and need to be replaced.