Breast Implants Responsible for Rare Cancer

Recently, a rare and deadly cancer has claimed the lives of 9 women. Sadly, according to the Food and Drug Administration, these deaths may be directly associated with their breast implants. The extremely rare cancer, known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), is not a type of breast cancer. In fact, it is a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that can be found around the breast implants and in the skin and lymph nodes surrounding the breast. The World Health Organization has designated ALCL as a rare type of T-cell lymphoma that can develop following breast implants.

In 2011, the FDA first acknowledged that women with breast implants had a small but significant risk of developing cancer after getting breast implants. Doctors were asked to notice changes in their patients and to monitor for signs and symptoms of developing cancer. Since then, there have been more links to breast implants and this deadly ALCL.

In March, the FDA issued an update regarding breast implant-associated ALCL cases. According to this update, there have been 359 reported cases of possible breast implant-associated cancer as of February 1st. Luckily, if detected early this type of cancer can be treated and is slow-growing.

According to the FDA, the type of breast implant may also be a factor when developing ALCL. Most of the cancer cases occurred in women who have textured surfaces on their implants. Of the 359 cases reported to the FDA, 231 of those reports included information on the implant surface. Of those, 203 had textured surfaces.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgery Foundation estimate that 11 million women in the world have breast implants. Of those, fewer than 10 will be diagnosed with breast implant associated ALCL.

What Can Patients Do?

If you or someone you love has received a breast implant, do not worry. ALCL is rare and occurs very infrequently. Even so, it is important to monitor your breast and implants for signs of cancer growth. The main symptoms of ALCL are pain and swelling. This often occurs around the breast implant years after the surgery has been performed. If you notice any pain or swelling or changes in the breast tissue or implant, it is important to see a health care professional immediately. If you are diagnosed with ALCL, your physician and surgeon will remove the affected implant and begin any necessary cancer treatments.

It is important to note that the FDA does not recommend any additional testing or preventative removal of breast implant in women who do not exhibit any signs or symptoms of ALCL.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with breast implant associated ALCL, it is important to contact an attorney with significant experience representing victims of defective medical devices. You may be eligible to take part in a national class action lawsuit.

To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation call the Philadelphia product liability lawyers at Golomb Legal today at 1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential Contact Form.