In March 2017, the FDA finally issued a warning confirming that breast implants cause BIA-ALCL cancer however the history of breast implants causing breast implant associated lymphoma cancer goes much farther back. The first case of lymphoma due to breast implants was reported in 1997, since then and for the past 20 years many cases of BIA-ALCL occurred and have been reported however there seemed to be a dismissal of BIA-ALCL and other cancers by regulators of breast implants and associations of plastic surgeons and plastic surgeons. Despite all these cases of BIA-ALCL and other cancers occurring and being reported manufacturers submitted to the FDA and the FDA approved more textured implants for sale as late as September 23, 2016 knowing that textured implants are particularly linked and responsible for BIA-ALCL. In fact the incidence rate for BIA-ALCL for Allergan textured implants (old and new) is approximately 1 in 4,000 from US and Australian studies however other types of implants cause BIA-ALCL too. Ladies are struggling to have plastic surgeon recognize the significance of BIA-ALCL and the need for testing for it. If you have textured implants and symptoms of BIA-ALCL you need to push for testing at the time of your explant.
BIA-ALCL BREAST IMPLANT ASSOCIATED LYMPHOMA is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the cells of the immune system (not breast cancer) that can be caused by breast implants. The main symptoms of BIA-ALCL are persistent swelling or pain in the vicinity of the breast implant, seroma, breast mass, capsular contracture, swollen lymph nodes and usually are associated with textured implants but not in every case. These symptoms may appear after the implant surgical incision has healed and often can appear years after implant placement. If you have swelling, pain, seroma, breast mass, capsular contracture or swollen lymph nodes and especially if you have textured implants please push hard for BIA-ALCL testing. Surgeons should consider the possibility of ALCL when they have a patient with late onset, persistent fluid around the implant (peri-implant seroma) before and or during explant or exhibit the symptoms after explant. When testing for ALCL at the time of explant, surgeons should collect fresh seroma fluid and representative portions of the capsule and send for pathology tests. The test is called CD-30 Immunochemistry and few plastic surgeons are knowledgeable about BIA-ALCL at this point so it will be up to you to educate your plastic surgeon and persist in getting the test if you have any symptoms and/or textured implants.
Here is the FDA’s recent announcement and information on BIA-ALCL: https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/BreastImplants/ucm239995.htm
Here is the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ current information on BIA-ALCL https://www.plasticsurgery.org/for-medical-professionals/quality-and-registries/bia-alcl-frequently-asked-questions and their treatment flowchart:
The following excellent chronology regarding BIA-ALCL was researched and written by Michelle Pastor, Miami, Florida April 2017 and is rather eye opening:
Needless to say ladies are gathering and organizing and looking into legal and if you are interested to find out further information please join the facebook groups specifically in regard to BIA-ALCL where you can speak with hundreds of other ladies with experience: