According to CNN, nine deaths have been reported to the US Food and Drug Administration stemming from a rare cancer that is associated with breast implants. The extremely rare cancer is called Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma which affects the cells in the immune system and can be found around the breast implant. It can also be found in the skin or lymph nodes and it is not a type of breast cancer.
The FDA stated, “All of the information to date suggests that women with breast implants have a very low but increased risk of developing ALCL compared to women who do not have breast implants.” The agency received 359 reports of possible breast implant-associated cancer cases as of February 1.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Foundation, about 10 million to 11 million women in the world have breast implants and fewer than 10 patients are diagnosed with breast implant-associated ALCL.
In 2011, the FDA first raised the possibility of a small but significant risk of developing the cancer after getting breast implants. The symptoms include fluid buildup, hardening, or mass around their implants. Symptoms of the cancer also include redness and swelling around the implant itself. Most of the cancer cases occurred in people have textured surfaces on their implant rather than a smooth texture.
Most cases of ALCL have been described as slow-growing and treatable when it’s detected early. The FDA stated, “People who have breast implants should monitor their implants for any chances and get routine screenings such as mammograms or MRI’s as recommended by their doctors.”