HomeHealth & FitnessBreast implants may be linked to additional cancers, FDA warns

Breast implants may be linked to additional cancers, FDA warns

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday warned women who have Breast implants or are considering getting them some cancers may develop in the scar tissue that forms around the implant.

Malignancy appears to be rare, but they have been linked to all types of implants, including those with textured and smooth surfaces and those filled with saline or silicone.

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Scientists had already linked an unusual cancer Anaplastic large cell lymphoma is primarily referred to as textured implants, whose rough exterior is likely to cause more inflammation than smooth implants. Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system.

The FDA confirmed that link more than a decade ago, but textured implants made by Allergan were on the market as of 2019. The agency’s new warning called attention to another cancer, called squamous cell carcinoma, and may also focus on other types of lymphoma. related to transplantation.

There are some documentary cases. The FDA said it was aware of less than 20 cases of carcinoma in the capsule surrounding the breast implant and less than 30 cases of unresectable lymphoma. (The capsule is a scar tissue that forms around the implant.)

Given the history of transplant And their widespread use, however, prompted federal health officials to feel the concern was warranted. In some cases, women were diagnosed years after having breast implants. Symptoms included swelling, pain, lumps and skin changes.

Although lymphoma and other cancers in the vicinity of implants may be rare, “health care providers and those who have considered or are having breast implants should be aware that cases have been reported in the FDA and in the literature.” ,” the FDA said.

An agency spokeswoman, Audra Harrison, said the new cancers were an “emerging safety sign we’re seeing with transplants, which we’ll be communicating about in isolation from ALCL,” previously documented cancer,

But cases of lymphomas other than ALCL in women with breast implants have been reported in the scientific literature for nearly a decade, said Dr. Mark Clemens, a professor of plastic surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at Houston.

They are rare, he said, and the new warnings should not be a cause for widespread alarm. Clemens said the realization that the ALCL was linked to breast implants already “enables us to be more aware that other things may be happening in that area.”

“If ALCL is abnormal, these are very rare,” he said. It’s long been known that scar tissue as a result of breast implant surgery can lead to squamous cell carcinoma, Clemens said.

“A wound that tries to heal, and tries to heal over a long period of time, can develop into these things,” he said. But the exact nature of the connection between implants and cancer, and whether the transplant is causing cancer, is not yet clear, he said.

In a typical year, about 400,000 women in the United States receive breast implants, 300,000 for cosmetic reasons, and 100,000 for reconstruction after mastectomies performed to treat or prevent breast cancer.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, numbers dropped significantly during the first year of the pandemic.

Last year, the FDA put on so-called black-box labels Breast implantswarned that they were associated with a number of chronic medical conditions, including autoimmune disease, joint pain, mental confusion, muscle pain and chronic fatigue, as well as lymphoma.

Breast implants In a typical year, about 400,000 women get breast implants in the United States (Source: Getty Images)

Among those at highest risk for developing the latter disease are breast cancer patients who plan to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment – ​​and who represent a large percentage of women who have been encouraged to have breast reconstruction with implants. goes.

The FDA has said that smokers and women with lupus or diabetes are also at higher risk of complications.

One-third of women who have breast implants will experience breast pain, tenderness or loss of sensitivity in the breast, or asymmetry. The FDA has said that half will experience painful tightening of the scar tissue around the implant, and a third will have implants that rupture or leak.

About 60% will need another operation to resolve problems with the implant.

On Thursday, the FDA said it is not recommending removing women Breast implants Because of the new warning. But the agency is advising women to monitor their implants and see a surgeon or health care provider if they notice any unusual changes.

The textured implants made by Allergan were recalled after nearly 600 cases of cancer were linked to the implants and 33 deaths were attributed to the company’s devices.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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