Do Breast Implants Increase Your Risk For Other Types Of Cancer
Theres no evidence that breast implants raise the risk of developing any other types of cancer. This includes breast cancer.
A meta-analysis of observational studies published in 2015 examined the risk of breast cancer developing in women with cosmetic breast implants. They found no increased risk.
There is a question about breast cancer recurrence.
A 2020 assessed breast cancer outcomes according to types of implants used for reconstruction following mastectomy. Findings suggest there may be a link between textured implants and higher risk of breast cancer relapse. The researchers said more studies are needed, though.
Preventative Measures Before Breast Surgery
I think you want to ask all the right questions as a patient. What type of implant am I having placed? What are the risks of the surgery? What are the risks of the implant?
From the physician side, it’s important to do a full physical exam when your patient comes in for their annual visit. That includes a full breast exam, particularly in patients who have had breast implants. If a patient notices anything suspicious or a change in the shape, size, or feel of their breast, they should bring it to the attention of their physician. And if an OB/GYN or a family practice doc has concerns, they should then have the plastic surgeon involved.
The FDA at this point recommends that either an ultrasound or an MRI can be done as a screening tool. Anyone who has symptoms should go directly to MRI. Anyone who has an implant placed, particularly a textured implant, should have a screening MRI after five or six years after the implant was placed.
Dr. Jones: Well, for many women who are making the choice about breast implants, only they will be able to balance the risks and benefits in their own bodies. But we try to give them the best information that we have and help support them with their decision. Thanks, Dr. Agarwal, and thanks for joining us on The Scope.
How Might Breast Implants Cause Cancer
Textured implants have a rough surface that may irritate or inflame the tissues around them. Researchers believe there is a possibility that this chronic inflammation plays a role. In fact, studies have revealed markers of chronic inflammation in the scar tissue around the breast implants. This suggests that an immune response to the breast implants may trigger ALCL.
Another possible cause comes from an immune response that increases cancer risk due to the bacteria surrounding the area around the implant. A study conducted in 2016 focused on the community of bacteria around tumor samples in people with ALCL linked to breast implants. The study revealed a significant difference in the community of bacteria around samples from people with breast implants who did not develop ALCL.
The symptoms of ALCL may occur years and even decades after undergoing breast implant surgery. Symptoms consist of persistent swelling or pain in the area of the breast implant.
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Reporting Of Confirmed Cases
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration specifically recommends that all confirmed cases be reported to the PROFILE registry. The PROFILE registry is a joint effort of the FDA and ASPS/PSF. If you have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, please ensure your physician has reported the case to the PROFILE registry for tracking of cases. Information reported to PROFILE is updated with the FDA on a monthly basis. While PROFILE is a physician reporting system, if you would like to report your case directly, you may contact PSF who can get you in contact with a physician willing and able to report your case.
Can You Get Breast Cancer After Breast Implants
No. According to the breast cancer non-profit organization Susan G. Komen®, implants have not been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. That said, Allergan manufactured textured implants among others have been connected to BIA-ALCL.
Although the reasons are unclear, the risk of BIA-ALCL is higher with textured breast implants than with smooth implants.
Susan G. Komen
BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer. It is a T-cell type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. BIA-ALCL is highly treatable but if it is not detected before it spreads to other parts of the body, it can be deadly.
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Breast Implants Linked To Cancer: How Does It Happen
22 March 17
Women with breast implants are at increased risk of developing a rare type of cancer, the Food and Drug Administration said. But how do these implants increase the risk of cancer?
On Tuesday , the FDA said that, in light of new data, the agency now recognizes that a rare type of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma can develop after a person receives breast implants. ALCL is not breast cancer rather, it is a type of lymphoma, which is a cancer of immune system cells, the FDA said in a statement. In the cases that were reported to the FDA, the cancer typically occurred in the scar tissue around the implant, the agency said. So the cancer occurs in the immune system cells around the breast implant, but not in the breast tissue cells themselves.
From June 2010 to Feb. 1, 2017, the agency received more than 350 reports of this cancer linked to breast implants, including nine cases of patients who died from the cancer. Some of the women in these reports were diagnosed with the cancer as early as 1996.
Still, the risk of this cancer is low one study from the Netherlands estimated that there were about one to three cases of ALCL per 1 million women with implants per year. In the United States, about one in 500,000 women is diagnosed with ALCL each year, although the incidence of this cancer specifically among U.S. women with breast implants is not known, according to the FDA.
Questions About The Materials In Implants
A key question that needs further investigation is whether some people may be predisposed to having a reaction to the materials in breast implants, causing inflammation and autoimmune problems. While the exact cause of BII and BIA-ALCL isnt known, some researchers have theorized that an inflammatory reaction could play a role in both conditions.
Its clear that women whove had breast implants with a textured surface have a greater risk of developing BIA-ALCL compared to women who have only ever had implants with a smooth surface. But researchers dont know why. Some have theorized that the rough surface of textured implants might cause chronic inflammation that can lead to lymphoma. Others have proposed that the rough surface and greater surface area traps more bacteria, creating a biofilm that causes inflammation and leads to lymphoma.
Some doctors consider saline-filled implants to be a safer choice for women who are concerned about the potential health risks of breast implants. If a saline-filled implant ruptures or its valve fails, its fairly easy to detect the leak because the breast will quickly appear deflated. Also, the saline that leaks out will be absorbed by the body.
However, it’s important to know that all women with breast implants are exposed to silicone to some degree, because both silicone and saline implants have a silicone shell.
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Brands Linked With Cancer After Breast Implants
As part of an FDA request, Allergan recalled its manufactured implants in July of 2019. The recall came after reports of 573 cases of BIA-ALCL, 481 of which were reported to involve Allergan breast implants.
It was also reported that over three dozen other countries had banned these implants due to the risk of BIA-ALCL.
If you are concerned about developing BIA-ALCL or breast cancer after breast implants, talk to your health care providers. From there, you and your medical team can develop a plan to minimize your risks of cancer.
Factors That Do Not Increase Breast Cancer Risk
Many factors have been studied to see whether or not they increase the risk of breast cancer.
Some of these factors have been proven to be unrelated to breast cancer and dont increase risk. Some may even decrease risk .
A full list of factors that dont increase breast cancer risk is too long to present here. Some, however, deserve mention because theyve been studied more than most or theyve gotten a lot of media attention.
Our Breast Cancer Risk Factors Table compares these and other factors by level of risk and strength of evidence.
The factors below are listed alphabetically.
Research clearly shows no link between abortion and the risk of breast cancer .
Since 2003, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the National Cancer Institute have agreed the scientific evidence does not support a link between abortion and breast cancer . The ACOG reaffirmed its conclusion in 2019 that theres no link between abortion and breast cancer .
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Pip Breast Implants Do Not Increase Cancer Risk Study Finds
There is no evidence that women who have PIP breast implants are at higher risk of cancer, European regulators have concluded. Women also do not need to have the faulty implants removed as a precaution although they may wish to have them taken out if they feel anxious, according to a review of PIP safety published by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks .
About 47,000 British women are thought to have been given the implants manufactured by the now defunct French company Poly Implant Prothese . The implants were filled with non-medical-grade silicone intended for use in mattresses and there have been reports of them rupturing and swelling in the body. In January last year, the UK government announced that women given PIP breast implants on the NHS would be able to have them removed at no cost, with private firms told they should offer the same deal. Any woman not helped by private firms would also qualify for free NHS treatment.
A review last year by NHS medical director, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, concluded the implants were not toxic or carcinogenic. But it acknowledged the distress caused to many women.
The European study said PIP implants have not been associated with higher risks of cancer. It added: “Laboratory tests on PIP implants have been negative for cytotoxicity and genotoxicity.”
“The MHRA is working with its European partners to ensure that this happens and that patients are protected.”
Breast Implants May Increase Breast Cancer Risk
When women and oncologists examine the risks of breast cancer, many factors, such as age and genetics, come to mind. Breast implants may not always enter into the conversation, however. Conflicting studies have yet to determine whether breast implants can affect breast cancer.
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Is It Worth It To Get Breast Implants
Most women find it a major step, and it often results in positive results. Breast implants have been shown to boost self-esteem, body image, and sexual satisfaction in studies. However, studies have also shown that women should be screened carefully by doctors and self-aware before breast implant surgery, as well.
Do Women With Breast Implants Have A Higher Risk Of Cancer
300,000 breast implant surgeries are performed each year in the United States. Though not a form of cancer in the traditional sense, ALCL has been associated with a specific type of breast implant. Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones talks to Dr. Jay Agarwal, chief of plastic surgery at Huntsman Cancer Insitute, about which type of breast implant is most likely to be presented with the signs and symptoms of ALCL.
May 30, 2019
Dr. Jones: Do women with breast implants have a higher risk of cancer? What cancer? What’s the risk and what should we know?
Announcer: Covering all aspects of women’s health, this is The Seven Domains of Women’s Health with Dr. Kirtly Jones on The Scope.
Dr. Jones: There are about 300,000 breast implant surgeries performed every year in the U.S. Now, there are a number of reasons for breast implant surgery, but all people requesting breast implant surgery have concerns about risks and side effects. There’s a new concern about a very rare cancer that might be more common in women with breast implants.
And today in The Scope studio, we’re talking with Dr. Jay Agarwal, who is chief of Plastic Surgery at the University of Utah. He’s a plastic surgeon at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, who specializes in breast reconstructive surgery, and he’s going to help us think about this risk.
Welcome back to The Scope, Dr. Agarwal.
Dr. Agarwal: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
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The Fda Takes A New Look At Breast Implant Safety
Because of new data that showed the majority of cases of BIA-ALCL and deaths due to BIA-ALCL are linked with textured breast implants manufactured by Allergan, the FDA requested a global recall of Allergan Biocell textured implants and tissue expanders in July 2019. By that time, 38 other countries had already banned Allergan Biocell implants.
The recall was perhaps the biggest news in years on the regulation of breast implants, and the FDA has said that it intends to do more going forward to better understand BIA-ALCL and BII and communicate with the public and healthcare professionals about breast implant risks.
Something is shifting. Compared to a couple of years ago, the FDA is being more open-minded about addressing implant safety, says Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D., president of the National Center for Health Research and a researcher who has studied breast implant safety issues. For decades, the FDA insisted there was no evidence that breast implants caused any systemic illness. Then the clear evidence on BIA-ALCL had a big impact. And I think the FDA has become more concerned about BII because more plastic surgeons are publicly saying that they believe BII is a real illness and that theyve seen their patients get better after having their implants removed.
These are some of the other steps the FDA took recently:
Learn More About Potential Bia
If you have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL or believe that you are at risk after a breast implant surgery, you can get help. Visit our website and we can provide you with a free case review. Our team can help you understand which breast implants pose a medical risk, and which medical and legal options are available to those affected.
You dont have to go through this process on your own. Contact us for a free case review today.
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Breast Implants And The Risk Of Alcl
Recently the Food and Drug Administration has identified a possible association between textured breast implants and development of a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma .
The majority of the data suggests the cancer risk is associated with breast implants that have textured surfaces rather than those with smooth surfaces. The risk is low and thus far only a small percentage of patients with textured implants have been found to have ALC in the United States. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution the FDA has recalled a specific brand of textured implants.
The Division of Plastic Surgery at U of U Health has stopped using all brands of textured implants in light of the recent concern of developing ALCL. Please note that the recall of these implants does not mean that the implants need to be removed. If you have concerns or questions regarding the recall please refer to the FDA website or speak with your doctor.
Breast Implants And Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
Dr. Jones: So what did the FDA identify as a possible association between breast implants and a rare non-breast cancer?
Dr. Agarwal: Over the past decade and a half, the FDA, the medical societies, and doctors in general have been paying very close attention to the outcomes of their patients that have had breast implants placed. And so, over the past number of years, we found that there is a very small but significant incidence of a rare lymphoma, and it appears that it’s associated with a specific type of breast implant, whether they’re placed for reconstructive purposes or cosmetic reasons. And that’s ALCL, an anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Dr. Jones: That’s a new one to me.
Dr. Agarwal: Yeah. Most people haven’t heard it.
Dr. Jones: Right. Very rare.
Dr. Agarwal: And it’s not a breast cancer as we think of breast cancers. It is a lymphoma. It’s typically found in the capsule, the scar tissue that surrounds a breast implant. But again, I want to emphasize that it’s exceedingly rare.
Dr. Jones: If there’s an increased risk, what kind of numbers are we talking about?
Dr. Agarwal: We’re talking about really low risk. It appears that patients with breast implants have about a one in 3,800 to one in 30,000 risk of developing this type of lymphoma. To put that in a broader context, you can think that the average woman in the United States, one in eight women will develop breast cancer.
Dr. Jones: In their lifetime, yeah.
Dr. Agarwal: That’s correct.
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Breast Implants And Cancer
For years, researchers have been aware of a link between breast implants and the development of ALCL in the breast. But estimates of the risk of this happening have varied widely. The new study was better able to estimate the risk because it was larger and used more rigorous methods than earlier studies, the researchers said.
The researchers, from VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, used a nationwide Dutch pathology registry to identify all patients in the country diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which includes ALCL, of the breast between 1990 and 2016.
The researchers first examined whether breast implants do indeed increase the risk of developing ALCL. But since ALCL is a very rare disease, it was difficult to look at simply the chances of developing ALCL in people with and without implants. Instead, the researchers looked at the question from the flip side, starting with women with ALCL in their breasts, and then looking at the rates of breast implants in these women. They then compared this to the rate of implants in women who had developed other types of lymphomas in their breast.
Still, this statistic doesn’t tell women with breast implants what their overall chances are of developing the disease in their lifetime. To calculate this, the researchers also estimated the rates of breast implants in the Dutch population, using records of 3,000 X-rays , along with other information.