Possible Explanations For Findings
The finding of later stage tumors at diagnosis of breast cancer in women with implants can be explained by multiple mechanisms, the first being that both silicone and saline implants create radio-opaque shadows on mammograms, which impair the visualization of breast tissue.65 The amount of parenchymal breast tissue obscured at mammography by the implant is known to be between 22% and 83%.66 Insufficient compression of the breast to visualize the parenchyma and the production of implant related artifacts on the film can also make interpretation of mammographic examinations difficult in women with augmented breasts.2829 Additionally, capsular contracture, which develops in about 15-20% of women with implants, has been shown to reduce mammographic sensitivity by 30-50%.65 Furthermore, specific characteristics of breast implants might affect the detection of breast cancer.67 Specifically, implants placed under the breast glands , because of their proximity with breast tissue, are suspected to obstruct mammographic visualization of the breast more than those with submuscular placement.433 However, to date, only one study has been able to evaluate the stage distribution of breast cancer according to implant placement.1834 Results from this study were inconclusive.
Breast Implants And Cancer Of The Immune System : A History Of Who Knew What When
Maura Duffy, Cancer Prevention & Treatment Fund
Experts now agree that breast implants can cause a type of cancer of the immune system. The FDA finally admitted this risk of cancer in 2017, but other experts including plastic surgeons were aware of the risk years before. Why did it take so long for FDA, the media, and women with implants to find out that choosing breast implants could increase their chances of developing a potentially fatal disease?
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma is a rare type of cancer of the immune system that usually develops in the lymph nodes, skin, lungs, or liver. However, ALCL sometimes develops in the breast area of women with breast implants.
In 2008 Dutch researchers published a report of 11 women with breast implants and ALCL, and concluded that the implants seemed to be associated with ALCL. Although published in the Journal of the American Medical Association , this information was not widely reported.
And yet, it was not until March 2017 that the FDA finally updated its website to officially report that breast implants could cause ALCL. At the time of the FDA announcement, the agency reported that they had received 359 reports of ALCL among women with breast implants. Reports to the FDA of problems from medical devices are acknowledged to be the tip of the iceberg since surgeons frequently do not do these online reports.
All articles are reviewed and approved by Dr. Diana Zuckerman and other senior staff.
Does Breast Augmentation Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is an illness that would not be wished upon by any woman. Most women who consider having breast augmentation fear that the implants will increase their chances of developing breast cancer tumors. Well, this is not the case. Implants do not in any way prevent, or delay the detection of cancerous tissues within the breasts. Also, they do not cause the growth of cancer tumors. Besides, several women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer do not have implants inside their breasts. In addition, after a mastectomy, cancer patients can have breast augmentation to help restore their normal life before an attack from cancer.
Also Check: Stage 3 Advanced Breast Cancer
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.
Is It Necessary To Change Silicone Breast Implants
In the past, silicones had to be replaced within 8-10 years. However, this is not the case for the new generation silicones that have been used in recent years. These silicone implants can be used for a lifetime. They very rarely cause problems and their replacement is possible when required. Some silicone implant manufacturers give implant replacement guarantee for cases when any problem arises from the silicone.
Also Check: Stage Iv Breast Cancer Life Expectancy
What Should I Do If I Think About Getting Implants
The most important thing you have to do is discuss your options and expectations about breast implants with your surgeon. They will give you professional advice and evaluate what you need to meet your expectations. Another thing you have to consider is the risks of breast implants. While they are safe to use, as a patient you have to know that they are not a lifetime device. Implants have to be removed in 10-15 years because the longer you have them, the higher risk of getting complications.
Youd also have to consider the health risks of getting BIA ALCL and Breast Implant Illness . While the chance of getting BIA ALCL is very low in general, its not something to overlook. The same goes for BII as well.
Emerging Form Of Breast Implant
Individuals with breast implants are also at risk of developing breast implant large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL. BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer but a form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
In most cases BIA-ALCL is found in fluid and scar tissue near the implant, however there are cases where it spreads throughout the body.
The FDA states, At this time, most data suggest that BIA-ALCL occurs more frequently following implantation of breast implants with textured surfaces rather than those with smooth surfaces.
Plastic surgeons have identified 615 cases of BIA-ALCL worldwide with the disease occurring at higher rates among women with textured implants. French authorities have recommended against the use of textured implants due to the cancer risk.
At present, however, the risks are difficult to determine due to significant limitations in world-wide reporting and lack of data.
Also Check: Carcinoma Left Breast
What Types Of Implants Are Used In Breast Augmentation Operations
Usually silicone implants are used in breast augmentation operations. As different from the first generation silicone implants, the new generation silicone implants used today do not cause unwanted conditions such as bursts, leakages, etc. and their manufacturers provide a lifetime warranty against such problems.
The most important features of the new generation implants, which make them advantageous, can be listed as follows: They contain a cohesive gel, i.e. a gel with low fluidity their surfaces are rough they are available in two shapes as teardrop or round, and they can maintain their original shape while they are in the body.
Breast Implants Can Cause Rare Form Of Cancer Fda Says
Breast implants can cause a rare form of cancer that may have killed at least nine people, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.
The cancer is called anaplastic large cell lymphoma and the FDA is checking into more than 350 reports linking it with both silicone and saline breast implants.
All of the information to date suggests that women with breast implants have a very low but increased risk of developing ALCL compared to women who do not have breast implants, the FDA said in a statement.
Breast augmentation is the second most popular cosmetic procedure among women, after liposuction. More than 300,000 procedures were performed in 2015. So the cancer would be very rare even with 300 cases over 10 years or longer.
And the FDA says it is easily treated if caught early enough.
Most cases of breast implant-associated ALCL are treated by removal of the implant and the capsule surrounding the implant and some cases have been treated by chemotherapy and radiation, it said.
Suspicions have been growing that implants might cause ALCL, which is a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.The FDA first started looking into the possibility in 2011.
At that time, the FDA knew of so few cases of this disease that it was not possible to determine what factors increased the risk, the agency said.
But now theres more information, including hundreds of complaints and a World Health Organization report pointing to breast implants as a possible cause.
You May Like: Low Grade Breast Cancer Prognosis
At What Age Should Breast Augmentation Surgeries Be Performed
Breast augmentation operations are generally preferred by young and middle-aged patients. As a rule, the procedure is performed after the full development of the breasts. Except for special cases, implant placement surgery is not performed before 18 years of age. Breast implant placement can be performed after 18 years of age, if the breast growth has been completed.
Types Of Implants And Likelihood For Alcl
Dr. Jones: However, it’s a scary thing because many women who are having implants are maybe not doing it for cosmetic purposes but for reconstructive purposes, and they already have cancer on their brain and their heart. What kinds of breast implants are the most likely?
Dr. Agarwal: So what we’ve seen, first of all, there have been about 400 to 500 cases of this ALCL reported to the FDA. And after looking back at those patients and the types of implant they’ve had, it appears that the highest association is with textured breast implants.
Dr. Jones: So tell me about that. I don’t get textured. Is textured meaning its outside is kind of rough, or what do you mean by textured?
Dr. Agarwal: That’s correct. So breast implants come in a variety of styles. The first you may know is saline-filled implants or silicone-filled implants. And then another characteristic can be whether they have a smooth outer surface or a textured outer surface.
We started using textured implants because there was a thought that maybe it decreased the amount of scar tissue that formed around the implant or what we call capsular contracture. Sometimes we use implants that are slightly shaped, and the texturing helps prevent the implant from turning. But the association with the ALCL is the highest with the ones that have a texture on the outer surface.
Dr. Jones: Well, that has some biological possibility. I mean, it could cause a different kind of reaction than a smooth, slippery one.
Read Also: Estrogen Receptive Breast Cancer Prognosis
Breast Cancer Screening After Implants
Its important to remember you can still get breast cancer after having breast implants. This means you need to be aware of how your breasts look and feel and report any changes quickly to your GP.
Read more about how to check your breasts.
You should also still have regular breast cancer screening after having breast implants. Mammograms are safe and do not cause the implant to rupture.
Tell the person doing your mammogram if you have breast implants. X-rays cannot pass through implants, so they may need to do the mammogram a different way to allow as much breast tissue as possible to be seen.
Read more about breast cancer screening.
Alcl’s Severity And Ability To Spread
Dr. Jones: Right. Well, when we’re talking about breast cancer, even a very rare one, people think about this being lethal. So, when this presents, is this usually a cancer that’s spread already? Do most people die from this cancer? What happens when people find this cancer?
Dr. Agarwal: Most of the time with ALCL that’s associated with breast implants, the cancer resides locally in the tissues around the implant. And for most of the cases, removal of the implant and removal of the capsule, the scar tissue around the implant can cure the patient of the lymphoma. In rare instances, the lymphoma can spread to the lymph nodes or elsewhere, but the most common presentation is a local one.
Dr. Jones: Well, that’s actually great news for a rare cancer, for it to be actually mostly curable with the surgery, just remove the implant and capsule. To me, as a provider and as a woman, that’s very reassuring to me.
Dr. Agarwal: Yes. Nobody wants to have an increased risk of anything if they’re having a medical device placed. The good news is it’s very rare, and if caught within an early period of time, it can be cured by removing the implant and the capsule. If there’s something good about it, I’d say.
Dr. Jones: That’s right. I think that’s good news about bad news.
You May Like: Tubular Breast Cancer Symptoms
What Should You Do Then
Know what to look for, keep an eye on your implants, and try your absolute best not to freak out.
All patients with breast implantsregardless of surface texture or brandshould familiarize themselves with the symptoms of BIA-ALCL, monitor for changes in the look or feel around their breast implants, and discuss any concerns that they may have with their health care professional, an FDA spokesperson tells SELF. The agency also advises keeping a record of your implant model name and manufacturer .
As critical as it is for anyone with implants to be aware of BIA-ALCL, Itâs also important for people to be reassured that this is an extremely uncommon disease, and highly treatable when it does occur, Dr. Clemens adds.
And for anyone considering implants who is scared off by this recall? The good news is that the products clearly linked with this disease are off the market. As for other kinds of textured implantswhich, again, are already very rare in the United Statesthe tiny but real risk of developing BIA-ALCL may well factor into that decision.
Going forward, this will definitely be an important part of the conversation have with their surgeons when deciding what type of implants to get, Dr. Clemens says.
Recommended Reading: Can You Be An Organ Donor After Breast Cancer
What Do I Do If I Have Implants
In case you have smooth implants, you dont have to worry too much. But of course, the best thing you can do is talk to your doctor and tell them if you have any concerns. In most cases, surgeons wouldnt recommend removing textured implants because that doesnt mean the risk of getting Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma is lower. Whats important is to monitor your implants and body for any kind of symptoms.
Recommended Reading: Lymphatic Cancer Stage 3
Whats The Treatment For Breast Implant
BIA ALCL can be successfully treated if detected early on. If its diagnosed in the early stages, then the treatment involves the removal of the implant and the surrounding fluid. Surgeons prefer to remove the two implants, even if ALCL is detected only in one breast because theres a risk that the disease will occur in the other breast as well.
If necessary, additional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy can be included.
The Truth About Breast Implant
May 31, 2017
New York TimesThis does not mean the breast cancer comes back
- BIA-ALCL is rare. One in 30,000 women with textured-surface breast implants may develop it. The FDA has reported 359 cases of BIA-ALCL in the United States as of February 1, 2017, and nine women have died from the disease.
- Breast implants are safe. In fact, theyre among the most-studied devices in medicine. BIA-ALCL appears to be associated with textured-surface breast implants only, which account for a small number of implants.
- Getting breast implants is a personal choice. If you choose to do it, well make sure you are well-informed of the benefits, risks, and available options.
Though BIA-ALCL is rare, its important that women familiarize themselves with the symptoms, how we diagnose and treat the disease, and the health follow-up guidelines we recommend if you choose to get breast implants after breast cancer surgery.
Don’t Miss: Her2 Stage 3 Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Detection And Survival Among Women With Cosmetic Breast Implants: Systematic Review And Meta
- Accepted 5 April 2013
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.
Don’t Miss: What Is A Malignant Neoplasm Of Breast