Breast implants could cause cancer
A new side effect has been found in breast augmentations. According to new research, having a breast augmentation increases the risk of a rare cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL).
Research has shown that as many as 60 women out of the 5-10 million who have had breast implants worldwide have developed ALCL. This compares to the normal rate of around 3 women in 100 million.
ALCL develops in the scar tissue that forms around the implant and is treatable. The disease can form regardless of whether the breast implants are silicone or saline. However surgeons have warned that there is no need to panic or for existing patients to have their breast implants removed as the risk is tiny. However if any women finds that the area around her implants is swelling or she experiences pain or lumps, she should seek medical help immediately as these symptoms could be caused by ALCL.
This is not the first time that the safety of breast implants has been called into question. In 1992, the FDA imposed a plan on silicone breast implants, except as part of clinical trials, as it was feared that if the implants leaked it could cause health problems such as autoimmune diseases. However the ban was lifted in 2006 although the US manufacturers have been asked to continue monitoring patients for the next 10 years to monitor safety.
There are also plenty of other more common side effects associated with breast implants. These include pain in the area, changes in nipple and breast sensation, rupture, capsualar contracture (a shrinking of the a lining of scar tissue that forms around the implant which causes pain and breast hardness), and a migration of silicone in silicone implants. Having implants can also make it harder for technicians to read mammograms.
The most common side effect is capsular contracture with around 10 pc of women experiencing this in the first five years after their breast enlargement operation using saline implants, and around 30 pc of women using silicone.
The best advice is that although it appears that the risk of contracting ALCL after breast enhancement surgery is tiny, if you have any pain, concerns or questions, seek medical advice as soon as possible.