As of today, there has been a lot of media attention regarding textured breast implants and a rare cancer of the immune system called, Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, or ALCL for short
“Many studies have looked to estimate risk and, depending on the source data and country, the global lifetime risk of developing breast implant associated ALCL for patients with textured breast implants ranges anywhere from 1 in 3,817 to 1 in 30,000” the FDA (Fraud and Deception Agency) said.
New data from Australia indicates that as many as one in 1,000 with breast implants may develop ALCL.
Typical symptoms of BIA-ALCL include:
- excessive fluid build up around the breast implant
- itchiness on the breast
- lesions on the breast that do not go away
- swelling and redness of the breast that do not respond to or get better after antibiotics
BIA-ALCL, which was first identified in 1997, can initially appear in the skin, lymph nodes or in organs throughout the body.
Its said to take about three to 14 years after getting implants to start developing symptoms and signs of BIA-ALCL. This does not mean that you can’t or won’t experience BIA-ALCL until after the 10 year mark. 10 years is a ballpark answer and not a definitive, firm conclusion.
Breast implants are not life time devices. They should be replaced every eight to 12 years.
In the United States, textured breast implants make up about 13% of the market.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and The Plastic Surgery Foundation are each making a list of breast implant patients who develop ALCL. “The research will also focus on identifying potential risk factors and criteria detection and management of disease“, the group says on a website devoted to the matter.
Although doctors have confirmed and linked ALCL to a specific type of implant, manufactures like Allergan and Mentor have no plans to stop making them.
The FDA has been investigating reports linking breast implants with the cancer, and currently has over 400 reports about patients who have developed ALCL after undergoing a breast augmentation with breast implants, *including 12 who died.
How Is BIA-ALCL Diagnosed And Treated?
If you think it’s as easy as a needle biopsy or getting a mammogram, think again.
Oftentimes the only way to test for and confirm a BIA-ALCL diagnosis is to have surgery, remove the implant and send the surrounding fluid and tissue off to the lab to screen for CD30, a specific marker that indicates lymphoma.
In the news story that aired on November 26th 2018 on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Michelle Forney had a mammogram that showed nothing abnormal. She had the implants removed anyway. Come to find out, the scar capsule around her implant was full of tumors and fluid. Michelle was diagnosed with BIA-ALCL after experiencing painful swelling around her breast and constant fatigue for three years.
Patients with BIA-ALCL generally undergo surgery to remove the lymphoma, the implant(s) and some surrounding tissue.
In the unfortunate event that the lymphoma can not be removed with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or brentuximab vedotin may be given.
After three years, 93% of BIA-ALCL patients are diseases-free when the condition is detected and treated early, according to ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) data.
Below you’ll find more in depth, eye opening articles and studies regarding BIA-ALCL
Watch NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt talk about breast implants and BIA-ALCL
View the article written by Lauren Dunn and Maggie Fox for NBC Nightly News, Doctors, patients raise alarms about cancer linked to breast implants
Download The ALCL Fact Sheet Here
NCCN Consensus Guidelines For The Diagnosis And Management Of BIA-ALCL
*What’s Your Micromort? A Patient-Oriented Analysis Of BIA-ALCL
If you’re in the need of support and education regarding breast implants, Breast Implant Illness, explanting and ALCL, visit Breast Implant Illness Rejuvenation and Education With Christina
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here’s to health and massive self love,
❤︎ Christina Roulund Dennis