Once considered rare, this cancer linked to breast implants is on the rise …
(JARED GILMOUR, MCCLATCHY) Breast implants are only getting more common in the U.S.
So is the once-rare cancer linked to one kind of breast implant. The cancer is called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
“We’re seeing that this cancer is likely very underreported,” Dr. Dino Ravnic, an assistant professor of surgery at Penn State College of Medicine.
“As more information on this type of cancer comes to light, the number of cases is likely to increase in the coming years.”
Between 5 and 10 million women worldwide have breast implants, per the review. Breast augmentation – which includes implant surgery – is the most popular cosmetic surgery in the country. And the procedure is getting more popular.
However, 300 cases of the cancer have been reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and 9 people have died. Half of those were in patients who had gotten implants after other cancer-related breast reconstruction.
“We’re still exploring the exact causes, but according to current knowledge, this cancer only really started to appear after textured implants came on the market in the 1990s,” Ravnic said.
Those implants have a surface that’s a bit rough — and while that rough texture aims to keep implants where they belong so they don’t look crooked, it could also cause inflammation in patients’ body tissue.
Chronic inflammation, in turn, has been linked to the type of lymphoma Ravnic warns about.
Just as troubling is the fact that doctors may not be talking to their patients about the risks, according to Ravnic, even as use of the textured implants has increased.