A recently published report by Breast Implants Perth indicates that a certain type of breast cancer that is caused by breast implants has been on the rise.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) agency began publicly reporting the issue in 2011 and reported cases have been on a steady increase since. According to the FDA agency, reported cases have risen from 359 to 414 over the past year. The number of deaths has, however, remained stagnant at 9, 5 of those in the US. This contradicts the number of deaths reported by a professional society of plastic surgeons who have report 500 cases and 16 deaths.
The figures are different since FDA figures depend on voluntary reporting. The professional society of plastic surgeons, however, uses their own registry system called Profile.
What is it?
This medical term for this condition is breast implant-associated anaplastic breast-lymphoma. It is not breast cancer but a malignancy of the immune system. If detected early, the condition can be cured by surgery alone. If the malignancy has developed for some time, however, extra treatment may be required. This includes chemotherapy or radiation treatment. If the disease is too far developed then it becomes fatal.
The disease is characterized by swelling around the implant. It can occur between 2 to 28 years after placing of the implant but it mostly occurs at around 8 years. The FDA reports that there is no need for screening or implant removal. if you do not notice this symptom.
The disease has been reported with all forms of breast implants. It has been reported in women who have had breast implants for cosmetic reasons and for those who have breast implants after reconstructive surgery.
Textured v smooth implants.
The trend is that the disease mostly occurs in women with textured breast implants rather women with smooth breast implants. Textured breast implants are preferred since they are less likely to slip out of position compared to smooth implants.
But why is it most prevalent with textured implants? Some researchers are of the opinion that textured implants irritate the breast tissue leading to inflammation which can cause lymphoma. Others say that the texturing might trap bacteria causing chronic infection which may lead to lymphoma.
The FDA has, however, not found a link between occurrence of the disease and the type of breast implant. This is due to lack of proper information on the type of breast implants that bring about the disease.
Opinions of agencies.
The FDA, via an agency spokeswoman Stephanie Caccomo, stated that it would look into a recent consumer update describing the lymphoma. She further added that the goal is to be consumer friendly and not to gloss anything over.
Allergan, via its spokesman Mark Marmur, stated that it is engaging in outside research into the causes, treatments and prevention measures for this particular lymphoma. It also changed its warranty policies for women diagnosed with the disease that had implants manufactured by Allergan.