The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified a possible association between breast implants and the development of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare cancer of the immune system. The FDA believes that women with breast implants that have textured surfaces have an extremely low but increased risk of developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). However, that doesn't mean that these implants cause BIA-ALCL. Further research is needed to fully understand the relationship between the condition and breast implants.
ALCL is a rare cancer that can develop in any part of the body, most commonly the lymph nodes and skin. Research suggests that BIA-ALCL is usually found near the breast implant within the surrounding scar tissue, not the breast itself. A recent review of documented cases of BIA-ALCL in the United States from 1996 to 2015 determined that the incidence of BIA-ALCL was two per 1 million women with a textured breast implant.
Researchers haven't yet determined whether the type of implant -- saline or silicone -- affects the risk of developing BIA-ALCL.
Any association between breast implants and cancer is concerning. Still, it's important to keep the potential risk in perspective.
If you have breast implants, the new findings aren't a call to change your treatment plan or to have your breast implants removed. Remember, the possibility of BIA-ALCL is very remote and the cure rate of this rare malignancy is high -- roughly 90 percent. While research continues, visit your doctor for routine medical care, and report any signs or symptoms -- such as new breast swelling, lumps, pain or changes in breast shape -- promptly.
If you're considering breast implants, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor and together decide what is best for you.
Finding out your breast cancer has returned can be equally or more…
A recent study found that soy foods lower women's risk of breast…
If you're concerned about breast cancer, you might be wondering if…