Breast implants associated with rare lymphoma

Shortly after noon on the 26th, the FDA reported that there is a possible association with silicone gel filled  and saline filled breast implants and lymphoma. The specific cancer is called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) which is very rare.

To date, 60 cases of ALCL have been reported worldwide. This is rare, considering roughly 5 to 10 million women worldwide have these implants. The important thing is that it means about one in 500,000 women are diagnosed with ALCL in the US. ALCL in breast tissue happens in only 3 out of every 100 million women in the US who do not have breast implants.

As always, the question arises as to what to do. The FDA is asking health care professionals to report any confirmed cases of ALCL in women with breast implants. The FDA Medwatch Safety Information form can be obtained by calling 1-800-332-1088. The form can also be completed on line at www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report/htm. A completed form which has been mailed or printed can be faxed to 1-800-332-0178.

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