Breast Implant Cancer
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breast implants

Some women who choose breast implants after a mastectomy due to breast cancer can end up with cancer from the implant itself. In two thousand sixteen, the World Health Organization issued a warning that breast implants can lead to a cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma or BIA-ALCL. In two thousand seventeen alone, over half a million women in the US got breast implants. But not all implants carry the same risk.

BIA-ALCL is most often linked with implants that have textured versus smooth surfaces. Textured implants stimulate the development of scar tissue that sticks to the implant so that its not able to move around inside the breast. Most women and their doctors are unaware of the link because there are few cases. The FDA identified over four hundred fifty cases of breast implants associated with BIA-ALCL. Even though its still legal in the US, thirty-eight other countries have banned textured implants.

BIA-ALCL is not a cancer of breast tissue but of the lymph nodes, a critical part of the immune system. Symptoms include excessive fluid buildup around the implant, which can cause pain, swelling, or lumps in the breast or armpit. Symptoms usually show up in three to fourteen years, and Scientists believe the implant triggers inflammation. This causes fluid buildup and cell damage in the breast that leads to the development of cancer cells in the fluid.

The cancer can invade other tissues including the lymph nodes. BIA-ALCL can be cured by removing the implant and its capsule. Chemotherapy may be needed if the cancer has spread. When diagnosed early, ninety three percent of patients are disease free three years after treatment.

Its important that women know the risk of textured implants.

For more information…

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