Textured breast implants have been linked to an increased risk of developing a cancer of the immune system called breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA ALCL). Although it is a highly treatable form of lymphoma, it can be difficult to diagnose because it is a rare form of cancer with symptoms that mimic other breast problems. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received reports of at least 457 cases of BIA ALCL including nine deaths.
Not a Form of Breast Cancer
Although BIA ALCL forms in the breasts, it is not a type of breast cancer. It is a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma which is a type of immune system cancer. In most patients it can be treated by removing the implant, the capsule around the implant and any fluid that has accumulated around the implant, including any cancerous cells. But if it has spread, chemotherapy and/or radiation may also be necessary.
The FDA estimates that the risk of developing BIA ALCL after receiving textured implants may be between 1 in 3,817 to 30,000. An Australia study puts the risk much higher at 1 in 1,000.
Symptoms of BIA ALCL
BIA ALCL can develop within months or many years after receiving textured implants. If you have textured implants and experience symptoms of BIA ALCL, please talk to your doctor right away. Symptoms include:
- Enlargement or swelling of the breast
- Lump in the breast
- Lump in the armpit
- Skin rash
- Hardening of the breast
- Fluid accumulation
If you have developed ALCL after receiving textured breast implants, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and more. Please talk to an experienced defective medical device attorney right away to learn more about your rights.