Earlier today, the FDA released a safety document on a possible association between breast implants (saline and silicone) and a very rare form of lymphoma – anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). While lymphomas can appear anywhere in the body, this very rare condition can appear in the scar tissue that forms around the breast implant. Since 1989, only 34 cases of ALCL have been identified out of the estimated 10 million+ implants placed worldwide. So essentially, the chances of getting struck by lightning are more than getting this condition. In addition, my understanding is that in these rare published reports, where the implant and surrounding scar tissue was removed – the condition resolved.
The FDA states that this condition is extremely rare and is clearly not breast cancer, but is working with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) to study this matter further. At this time both the FDA and the ASPS remain confident that breast implants are safe and effective. Breast implants do NOT cause breast cancer.
Remember, breast implants are the most studied device in the history of medicine. If you have implants, continue your routine monthly breast self exams, mammograms/breast cancer screen when needed. If you feel any changes to your breasts, visit with your physician/plastic surgeon. For more information on breast implants and current info on this specific topic, please visit the ASPS website or visit with a board certified ASPS member surgeon.