According to a news report posted on health.com, the United States Food and Drug Administration is warning breast implant patients of new cancer risks connected to breast implants. The FDA is not recommending that patients remove their breast implants as a precaution. However, the FDA urges breast implant patients and their doctors to watch out for breast health changes. The FDA Safety Communication was issued last Thursday and warned people considering breast implant surgery of the potential cancers linked to implants.
The FDA Safety Communication states that squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and other types of lymphomas are extremely rare. However, the FDA is still advising patients and medical providers to be mindful of the “newly-discovered potential risks associated with breast implants.”
These cancers differ from breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), which is another rare cancer that has been linked to textured breast implants. Back in 2019, the FDA ordered Allergan, the manufacturer of certain textured implants, to recall certain breast implants linked with an increased risk of acquiring BIA-ALCL. The letter also stated that these cancers are not types of breast cancers; they are simply cancers that have been linked to breast implants.
Currently, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the FDA do not recommend patients with breast implants to remove the implants. However, they are urging patients and their doctors to look out for any potential issues. According to the FDA, different types of lymphomas linked to breast implants begin as scar tissue around a breast implant.
The FDA is conscious of about 20 cases of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and about 30 cases of different lymphomas have been linked to breast implants.
Women should be checked regularly for implant changes in shape or size, and/or lumps in the breast or in the armpit as these may be important warning signs. The FDA also asks women with breast implants to report swelling, lumps, pain, or skin changes to their doctors. The FDA also states that these symptoms could be a sign of implant leakage, but ongoing monitoring is the best defense against implant-associated health concerns.
The FDA has previously issued warnings about BIA-ALCL. The disease is rare with only 1,130 BIA-ALCL cases appearing in the past few years. However, BIA-ALCL is a dangerous form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that can spread throughout the body.
In 2021, the FDA added a “black box” warning on breast implant products. The warning urged doctors to inform patients about the risks of BIA-ALCL, although there are many other serious medical conditions linked to breast implants. These symptoms include but are not limited to, joint pain, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue, and muscle aches.
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