Health

Breast Implants Linked to Rare Cancer Recalled

Textured breast implants made by Allergan that have been linked to an unusual cancer are being recalled in the United States at the request of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and will be requested to be recalled globally.

The disease is anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, a rare cancer of the immune system. The condition has occurred with implants placed for cosmetic breast enlargement and with those used for reconstruction after mastectomy for breast cancer. Though it is not breast cancer, it develops in tissue around the implant. In most cases, removing the implant and the scar tissue around it cures the cancer, but if it is not detected early enough it can spread and potentially kill patients.

Worldwide, 573 cases and 33 deaths from the cancer have been reported by the FDA, with 481 of the cases being attributed to Allergan Biocell implants. Of the 33 deaths, data showed that the type of implant was known in 13 cases, and in 12 of those cases the maker was Allergan.

The main symptoms of the lymphoma are usually swelling and fluid accumulation around the implant. If those symptoms occur, the fluid should be drained and tested for the cancer.

Compiled by Olivia Boyd, WI Intern

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