FDA Release of Information Regarding Possible Link between Rare Cancer and Breast Implants

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released information on the possible link between of a rare form of cancer, Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL), and silicone and saline breast implants.  According to the National Institute of Cancer, ALCL is not a type of breast cancer, as it can develop in lymph nodes and the skin.

The FDA’s research suggests that women with implants could have a higher risk of developing this uncommon cancer because there have been 34 cases of ALCL development in the scar capsule surrounding a breast implant in the U.S. since information on the subject was first published in 1997.  Only 1 in 500,000 women are diagnosed with ALCL in any area of their body each year, and only 3 in 100 million women nationwide with breast implants have been diagnosed with ALCL in the breast tissue.  Although, the statistics are low, they are prominent enough to catch the attention of the FDA.

Breast implants, both silicone and saline, have been thoroughly researched by the FDA.  When the FDA believed silicone breast implants were unsafe, they pulled them off the market.  Therefore, if they felt that breast implants were not safe, they would take them off the market without question.  Until there is more substantial research, the FDA suggests women with breast implants or those interested in breast augmentation continue proper aftercare routines suggested by their board certified plastic surgeon.  In order to gather more information, the FDA is requesting that plastic surgeons report any ALCL findings in women with breast implants.  To assist in this research, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is uniting with the FDA to compile a Breast Implant Registry.

This information in not meant to worry breast implant patients, but to highlight the importance of mammograms and MRIs along with other aftercare routines.  For those interested in breast enhancement that may now be second-guessing the desired procedure, Dr. John LeRoy suggests researching the topic as thoroughly as possible: weighing the risks and benefits to decide if the surgery is appropriate.  During a consultation, Dr. LeRoy discusses possible risks in detail and provides patients with educational information so that they can make a decision they will be comfortable with.

For those patients interested in plastic surgery, but disinterested with inserting implants, Dr. LeRoy performs “mini” versions of plastic surgery procedures that he calls Band Aid procedures.  He offers Band Aid Facelift, Band Aid Blepharoplasty, Band Aid Brow Lift, Band Aid Liposuction, and Band Aid Tummy Tuck.  Patients who have an area of concern, but do not need the full procedure to correct the concern can benefit from these Band Aid procedures right in Dr. LeRoy’s office under local anesthesia.  Therefore, recovery time is shortened.

Dr. LeRoy will continue to keep patients updated about the developing breast implant research, so keep reading the blog.  Also, visit Atlanta Facelift’s website for more information on Band Aid procedures and the other cosmetic procedures Dr. LeRoy performs.