Breast Implant-Associated Lymphoma Highlighted in New York Times

“Patients may ask about a New York Times story highlighting the small but real risk for anaplastic large-cell lymphoma in women with breast implants. The FDA recently issued an alert noting that almost all cases have involved implants with textured rather than smooth surfaces.

In the U.S. and Europe, an estimated one in 30,000 women with textured implants will develop the cancer, the Times notes. In Australia, estimates reach one in 10,000 to one in 1,000 — though researchers don’t know why the rate is higher there. Whether the implants are silicone or saline — and whether they are for breast enlargement or reconstruction — does not affect one’s risk.

Of 359 cases worldwide reported to the FDA, there have been nine deaths.

The exact cause of implant-associated lymphoma is unknown. One possibility: Bacteria may adhere to textured implants, forming a biofilm that triggers the immune system and results in constant inflammation. This, in turn, could lead to increased risk for lymphoma.”

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