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Breast Implants Linked to Rare Cancer Recalled

July 25, 2019

Kansas City, Kan. — The Food and Drug Administration announced a global recall of a textured breast implant made by Allergan that's been linked to anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, a rare cancer of the immune system. Worldwide 573 cases and 33 deaths from the cancer have been reported. The devices were effectively banned in Europe last year.

Health system plastic surgeon Richard Korentager, MD, explains, "The concern here is related to the development of what is called BIAALCL, breast implant associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. It's not breast cancer. This is a lymphoma type of cancer that involves the scar tissue that forms around the implant."

Dr. Korentager says this type of cancer tends to occur after the implant has been in place 6 – 8 years or even longer.

He suggests the following:

  1. Find out what kind of implant you have. This will aid in assessing your specific risk.
  2. Be evaluated by a plastic surgeon, ideally the surgeon who performed the implant procedure.
  3. Next steps depend upon each patient's individual evaluation.

"There should be ongoing follow up for anyone who has breast implants, at least on a yearly or every other year basis," said Korentager.

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