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Published: Thu, March 23, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

FDA links rare cancer, 9 deaths, to textured breast implants

FDA links rare cancer, 9 deaths, to textured breast implants

It comes after the federal agency received reports from 359 women claiming a link between their implants and their diagnosis of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Nine of the women has since died.

FDA indicated that 231 cases out of 359, which were reported, included data regarding the surface of the implant.

"All of the information to date suggests that women with breast implants have a very low but increased risk of developing ALCL compared to women who do not have breast implants", said the FDA release. It is called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma and mostly occurs in a capsule of tissue that develops around the implant.

The FDA recommends that patients do some research before getting breast implants.

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Current recommendations include the steps below.

ALCL is more common in the breasts of women who've had implants than in those who don't have implants, in whom the cancer nearly never develops in the breast. A U.S. Provide the manufacturers' labeling as well as any other educational materials to your patients before surgery and discuss with them the benefits and risks of the different types of implants.

According to Daniel Maman, a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in implants in New York City, these findings aren't quite cause to panic. Some cases have required chemo and radiation. At the time so few cases of BIA-ALCL existed that the agency could not draw definitive conclusions about the association.

The FDA is urging women debating whether to get implants to educate themselves about them before agreeing to surgery. While that case was a woman with saline-filled implants, the FDA says the filling, be it saline (salt water) or silicone, doesn't seem to make much of a difference, although no well-designed studies have yet been conducted to settle tha issue.

The cancer is not breast cancer, the FDA emphasized. Instead, providers should continue routine care and monitoring for patients with implants. If you notice any changes, contact your health care provider promptly to schedule an appointment. Less than 10 patients are diagnosed with breast implant-associated ALCL annually. "Of these, 186 reported implants filled with silicone gel and 126 reported implants filled with saline", the administration continued. This specific form of cancer is typically treatable and not fatal, and is most likely to occurred with textured implants (that have "a pebbly surface") than with smooth implants, the FDA said.

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