Breast Cancer and Implants: Get the Facts
I recently saw a very informed patient who asked me about the new FDA announcement regarding an association between textured breast implants and development of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL), a specific type of cancer.
This announcement about breast cancer and implants being associated has caused concern for women with (or considering) the cosmetic procedure.
If I have breast implants should I be concerned about cancer?
Although there have been a few reported cases (34) of ALCL cancer in women with textured breast implants, it is an extremely small number and occurs only within the scar capsule around these textured implants.
According to the FDA, only 34 cases have been identified out of the estimated 5-10 million implants that have been placed word-wide. In mathematical terms, 34 women with ALCL cancer out of 10,000,000 women with breast implants equates to a 0.000003% of developing ALCL as a result of having the procedure if the association is found to be true.
Where is the ALCL cancer being found?
Additionally, the ALCL cancer found in the capsule of these textured breast implants behaves differently than traditional ALCL, in that it is less severe and associated with a higher cure rate.
Dr. Janiga’s stance
Overall, the FDA’s recent announcement of the slim possibility of a correlation between ALCL cancer and breast implants does not dissuade me from performing or recommending them as part of a breast augmentation procedure to my patients, friends, or family.
Where can I get more information?
The FDA performs rigorous testing before approving any medical implantations for general cosmetic or reconstructive use within the human body. The FDA also has a list of other resources should you find them interesting or necessary.
If you have further questions or concerns about your breast implants and possible cancer correlations, I am willing to discuss them with you during an office visit, or feel free to discuss the subject with your primary care physician.