9 deaths linked to rare cancer from breast implants

Mar 23, 2017, 01:58
9 deaths linked to rare cancer from breast implants

As of February 1, 2017, nine of those women have died. Smooth implants only accounted for about 10 percent of the cases reported. Of these, 186 reported implants filled with silicone gel and 126 reported implants filled with saline.

The agency said it is continuing to collect and evaluate data on cases of lymphoma linked to breast implants, but warned that current data on fill and surface type are limited. Be aware that most confirmed cases of BIA-ALCL have occurred in women with textured breast implants.

According to the FDA, both types of implants are associated with "a low but increased likelihood" of ALCL.

Its recommendation to healthcare providers is to continue to proved patients with breast implants with "routine care and support". Patients should contact their doctors if they notice pain, swelling, or any changes in or around their breast implants, the FDA said. Provide the manufacturers' labeling as well as any other educational materials to your patients before surgery and discuss with them the benefits and risks of the different types of implants.

Previous year the World Health Organization officially recognized BIA-ALCL as a rare form of lymphoma. Some studies have found markers of chronic inflammation in the scar tissue around breast implants, suggesting that an immune response to the implants might trigger ALCL, the paper said. If you have a patient with suspected BIA-ALCL, refer her to an appropriate specialist for evaluation. Diagnostic evaluation should include cytological evaluation of seroma fluid with Wright Giemsa stained smears and cell block immunohistochemistry testing for cluster of differentiation (CD) and Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) markers. A surgical intervention is however required to remove the empty silicone shell, but the implant can be replaced during the same procedure.

FDA notes that the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) reported a detailed analysis of 46 confirmed cases of BIA-ALCL in Australia, including three deaths. At the time so few cases of BIA-ALCL existed that the agency could not draw definitive conclusions about the association.

While saline implants contain sterile salt water and can be inserted empty (to be infused during cosmetic surgery), silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone gel, whose texture closely resembles natural tissue. Additional information is available on FDA's Breast Implants website. 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. Women who already have implants should continue with routine care and follow-up, as advised by their healthcare providers.

Last year, 290,467 breast augmentations were performed in the USA - 109,000 of which were for reconstruction after breast cancer - according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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