Breast Implant

The Hidden Risk of Breast Implants: Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

Breast Implant A cancer diagnosis is devastating and frightening, leaving suffers and their families uncertain about what the future may bring. Treatment is painstaking and grueling, oftentimes causing patients to feel out of control of both their bodies. This is particular true for the 1 in 8 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Once treatment has ended and health has been restored, breast cancer survivors may feel that their femininity has been stolen from them either due to a lumpectomy or a mastectomy.

To rectify this feeling and regain control, many survivors opt for reconstructive surgery, including breast implants. In some cases, rather than being part of the solution, the implants can actually be part of the problem in a very fatal way. Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a rare T-cell lymphoma that can develop following breast implants. Although it develops from the breast implants, BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer. Rather, it is a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the cells of the immune system. BIA-ALCL occurs more frequently following implantation of breast implants with textured surfaces rather than those with smooth surfaces.

How Common is BIA-ALCL?

Currently, 359 cases of BIA-ALCL have been reported worldwide, including 9 deaths. According to the FDA, the primary symptom of BIA-ALCL is persistent swelling or pain in the vicinity of the breast implant. BIA-ALCL is gaining attention worldwide as the number of women getting breast implants continues to climb each year. In fact, annually, approximately 400,000 women get breast implants, with 300,000 of those procedures being cosmetic and 100,000 being reconstructive. The diagnosis of BIA-ALCL is devastating for both groups, particularly for those women who have already been through one cancer diagnosis.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

While a diagnosis of BIA-ALCL is rare, it is vital to be educated about the disease and about options. It is important to discuss different options with your doctor and to inquire about the types of implants used, including whether the surface is smooth or textured surfaces. Additional information is available on FDA's Breast Implants website .

Where to Go for Help

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, the attorneys at Reich & Binstock are here to help you. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience and will work with you every step of the way, from your initial consultation through the successful conclusion of your case.