Cancer link to breast implants not a concern

You may have read about recent new reports connecting breast implants and ALCL. ALCL is not breast cancer. It is a form of lymphoma that affects white blood cells called T cells.

There are betwen 34-64 case reports worldwide and 5-10 million women in the world have breast implants. So, this is an extremely rare cancer.

Also, ALCL behaves differently in women with implants vs women without implants. ALCL linked to breast implants tend to be less aggressive and more easily treated.

Because the risks of ALCL appears very small, the FDA believes that the totality of evidence continues to show that FDA-approved breast implants are safe and effective when used as labeled.

If you have breast implants, there is no need to change your routine medical care and follow-up. Although not specific to ALCL, you should continue to follow standard medical recommendations including:

  • Monitoring your breast implants. If you notice any changes, contact your health care provide promptly to schedule an appointment.
  • Getting routine mammography screening
  • If you have silicone gel-filled breast implants, getting periodic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect ruptures as recommended by your health care provider. The FDA-approved product labeling for silicone gel-filled breast implants states that the first MRI should occur three years after implant surgery and every two years thereafter.

For more information visit the FDA website at http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/BreastImplants/ucm239995.htm