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More Reports of Rare Cancer Linked to Breast Implants, FDA Says

We’ve recently looked into the health repercussions tied to breast implants, such as autoimmune diseases, heart palpitations and brain fog, and even spoke with women who have undergone breast explant surgery themselves. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is stating that the number of cancer cases linked to breast implants is on the rise.

In a statement published by the American federal agency earlier this week, as of September 2018 there have been a total of “457 unique cases of Breast Implant Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), including 9 patient deaths,” since 2010.

A little background info: BIA-ALCL is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that develops in the lymphatic cells. It’s not a cancer of the breast tissue itself; it’s found in the surrounding tissue of the implant, and in some cases it can spread throughout the body.

There has much been debate and conflicting information on what type of breast implant causes BIA-ALCL: According to the Canadian Cancer Society, research suggests that the risk of BIA-ALCL is higher in people who have textured implants, versus in those who have implants with smooth surfaces. In 2017, Health Canada reported that it had received 5 confirmed Canadian cases of BIA-ALCL in the past 10 years; 4 of the cases involved textured implants.

However, the FDA states that of the medical reports they’ve received, many of them do not include additional information, like the texture of the implants, which makes it difficult to pinpoint what kind of implants cause BIA-ALCL, or whether the type of implant is even a factor.

In the meantime, the FDA is urging healthcare providers to read up on BIA-ALCL to ensure they are armed with the most recent findings and information surrounding the cancer.