ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Breast cancer survivors face another scare. Many breast cancer survivors who had their breast reconstructed with textured rather than smooth implants are now gravely concerned their reconstructed breast could give them cancer again. WHEC reported that medical device manufacturers who made the textured implants had announced recall campaigns after urging by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
One woman’s story describes the highs and lows of many women’s journeys. A Rochester woman beat the odds and was cured of breast cancer. She thought she was well on her way to living a long and healthy life until she received a notice in her mailbox one day. In summary, the correspondence informed the woman that the textured implant doctors used to reconstruct her cancer-stricken breast could cause a different kind of cancer to strike. The notice identified the cancer as Lymphoma that was occurring in breast cancer survivors with the same implants as the Rochester woman.
Naturally, the woman panicked. The notice informed her that doctors were not using the textured implants in reconstructive surgeries any longer. The notice went on to state that the rescission surgery was not indicated unless the patient was symptomatic. One of the symptoms was scarring in the breast tissue around the implants. The Lymphoma that grew from textured implants attaches itself to the scar tissue surrounding the implant.
The Lymphoma caused by the textured breast implants is identified as Breast Implant-Associated Lymphoma or BIA-ALCL for short. BIA-ALCL is a form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. BIA-ALCL rarely occurs, according to the statistics. However, just like all other cancers, it is very serious and can kill the patient if the disease is not treated promptly.
Treatment of BIA-ALCL includes chemotherapy, radiation, and rescission surgery. Rescission surgery will remove the implant along with the cancerous scar tissue.
Scientists and researchers focus their attention on why the implants cause BIA-ALCL. They have theories at this juncture but no conclusive proof.
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