Recently, the Ederra Bella team has been asked about the potential connection between breast implants and a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a very rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that occasionally develops after breast implants. A recent FDA medical device update explains in depth this concern, and we’ve broken it down to help you understand:
What You Need to Know
The initial concern that there might be a link between BIA-ALCL first emerged in 2011. Since then, we’ve been providing patients with this information during breast augmentation consultations and as part of our surgical consent form.
The FDA has monitored the issue closely and come to several key conclusions:
- BIA-ALCL is a very rare condition, and it is recognized by the WHO.
- Worldwide medical reporting is not complete enough (due to under-reporting, duplicate reporting, and inaccurate reporting) to determine the likelihood of developing BIA-ALCL after breast implants.
- Trends show that most cases of BIA-ALCL developed in individuals who received textured implants; however, this is not conclusive as most reports didn’t contain information regarding the texture of the implants.
- There is a specific diagnosis treatment plan for individuals who develop BIA-ALCL.
What You Need to Do
Even if you have breast implants or are planning on getting them, you do not need to change anything about your medical treatment or lifestyle. Planning follow-up visits with your surgeon after the procedure is good practice for any surgery, and monitoring your health the same way you already do is sufficient.
It is not recommended—by the FDA or your doctor—that you remove your already-in-place breast implants if you do not have symptoms of BIA-ALCL. If signs such as a change in breast size, tenderness, skin texture, lumps, pain, or swelling occur, speak with your doctor.
Other than knowing your body and monitoring your overall health, there’s nothing you need to do!