Nine US deaths linked to breast implant-associated cancer

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Women with breast implants are at increased risk of developing a rare type of cancer, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said. But the current data suggests the rare form of cancer occurs more frequently with textured-surface breast implants versus those with smooth surfaces. The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) analyzed 46 confirmed cases of BIA-ALCL, including three deaths, and none of the cases occurred in women with smooth implants.

Details on breast implant surface and fill type are limited, the USA regulator said. But it's easily treated if caught early, which typically happens when women start suffering pain and swelling.

Doctors and researchers have been investigating a connection between breast implants and ALCL * a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=breast+AND+(implant*+OR+prosthesis+OR+prosthes*+OR+endoprosthes*)+AND+lymphoma*" *for years. Some cases have required chemo and radiation. Get routine mammography screening and ask for a technologist specifically trained in performing mammograms on patients with breast implants.

The FDA says it now agrees with the World Health Organization that such cases are linked to the breast implants and not some unfortunate coincidence.

A * a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=breast+AND+(implant*+OR+prosthesis+OR+prosthes*+OR+endoprosthes*)+AND+lymphoma*" *significant body of medical literature has been published since FDA's 2011 report, the agency notes, including additional case histories and comprehensive reviews of the natural history and long-term outcomes of the disease.

About 290,000 people received breast implants in the USA last year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which does not track the surface textures of implants in its yearly reports.

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Only 231 of the 359 reported cancer cases included information about the type of implant surface: 28 were smooth implants, while 203 were textured.

The FDA has a breast implants website with more details.

CNN reported that roughly 10 million to 11 million women have breast implants worldwide, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgeon Foundation.

Safety concerns are a high priority when opting for breast augmentation procedures, as both types of breast implants - saline and silicone - pose a series of health risks.

The FDA recommends patients educate themselves on the different options associated with breast implants, particularly as it relates to texture.

Exactly how breast implants might cause cancer is not known.

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