FDA: These Kinds of Breast Implants May Cause a Rare Form of Cancer

November 28, 2018, 12:05 AM UTC

Individuals who have breast implants are at risk for developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare cancer that can spread throughout the body, according to the FDA, the United States Food and Drug Administration.

While the FDA identified the link between breast implants and cancer back in 2011, a new NBC News report shines light on the fact that manufacturers have no plans to cease production of implants in question. That is despite the fact that the FDA has received more than 400 reports from patients who developed ALCL, including nine who died.

Specifically, it is the so-called textured versions of implants that the FDA says may be more likely to cause ALCL, as opposed to those with a smooth surface. But regardless of the surface type, the FDA says that both versions of breast implants are linked to an increased risk of developing the cancer.

Allergen and Mentor are two of the companies that manufacture textured breast implants. Mentor links to the FDA’s warning on its own website. And through spokespeople, both companies noted that while there are no plans to cease production, physicians should advise all patients receiving implants on the possible cancer risks, as well as the warning signs of ALCL.

Despite its link with breast implants, it’s important to understand that ALCL is not breast cancer. Rather, it’s a rare blood cancer, a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The World Health Organization (WHO) has noted that since breast implant-associated ALCL (BIA-ALCL) was first identified over 20 years ago, both saline- and silicone-filled implants have been implicated in the risk of developing BIA-ALCL.