Breast Implants and Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
Recently, the FDA announced a possible association between breast implants and Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL), a rare disorder of immune-system cells. Although ALCL is extremely rare, it is thought that women with breast implants may have a very small, but increased risk of developing this disease in the scar capsule adjacent to the implant.
The FDA has voiced its desire to begin an implant registry process in order to determine the true incidence of this disease process and its impact on patients.
At this point, we know the following:
1. The risk is exceedingly low. ALCL has only been identified in 34 of an estimated 5 to 10 million women with breast implants. The estimate risk for a woman who undergoes breast augmentation or reconstruction with breast implants is 1 in 500,000. (The risk of developing breast cancer in all women is estimated to be 1 in 9.
2. It is unrelated to the type of implant, saline or silicone.
3. It is not a silent disease. Women with this rare disorder have noticed lumps, bumps, fluid collections, and painful scar tissue. It does not go unnoticed.
4. The disease is treated by removing the implant and the surrounding scar tissue. Rarely is other treatment necessary. The disease process is felt to be much less aggressive than other forms of ALCL.
While this is exceedingly rare, women should continue routine self-examinations even following surgery with breast implants. Any abnormal or unusual findings should prompt a visit with your surgeon.
To book an appointment with one of our Plastic Surgeons call 972-470-5000 ext. 203 and speak with our Cosmetic Coordinator Leah Blevins today!