On March 21, the Food and Drug Administration discovered that breast implant was related to nine deaths due to rare cancer. On February 1st, the agency has received 359 reports of cancer cases associated with breast implants. Apparently, these deaths were not triggered by breast cancer, but by anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, a rare malignancy of the immune system.
- Specialists found a link between a rare form of cancer called lymphoma and a breast implant.
- FDA received about 359 reports of cancer cases related to breast implants.
- Nine women died due to this rare form of cancer which occurred because of breast enlargement.
In cases related to implants, this rare cancer form develops in the breast, generally in the capsule of scar tissue which forms around an implant. This condition is usually treatable. There are very few cases when this rare cancer causes deaths. The issue which might have occurred regards the textured implants which might have a gravelly surface instead of being smooth.
FDA indicated that 231 cases out of 359, which were reported, included data regarding the surface of the implant. About 28 implants were smooth while 203 other were textured. Apparently, 312 cases represented implants filled with unknown content, 126 with saline and 186 with silicone gel. Usually, cases are reported as soon as some unusual symptoms occur, like pain, lumps, swelling and fluid buildup.
In the United States, approximately 290,000 women underwent surgery for breast enlargement in 2016. Based on the data provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, about 109,000 females received these implants for reconstruction after combating breast cancer. In several cases when the lymphoma appears, by removing the implant and the tissue around it, the patient could eliminate the condition.
Nevertheless, there might be situations when women may need radiation and chemotherapy. According to Dr. Alex K. Wong, who is a plastic surgeon at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, the reaction of the body to the textured implants appears to be different compared to smooth ones. The tissue develops into microscopic rhythms in the textured implants.
Dr. Wong claimed that when doctors remove the textured implants, patients can hear a peeling sound. On the other hand, when it comes to a smooth implant, its texture is like Jell-O, moving easily. Dr. Wong performed some tests in his lab, analyzing the different levels of genetic activity in rats’ tissues as a response to textured and smooth implants.
He argued that usually, doctors use textured implants to make sure they stick in place without moving at all. Surgeons should consider the possibility of developing lymphoma after several years after the implant surgery.
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