Breast Implants and Cancer – What They Knew, When They Knew It
One of the main protocols for surgery is that the doctor will explain the risks of anesthesia, how the procedure will be performed and ways to promote healing, but often overlooked is educating the patient of the potential adverse effects that can result from a defective medical implant. If you or a loved one have breast implants, you should be aware of the increased potential for developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL.
What They Knew
A recent study published in the journal JAMA Oncology supports the belief that cancer has a definite link to breast implants. Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, has been found in approximately one in 7,000 women who have implants. Scientists believe that the implants or bacteria on the implants may trigger an inflammatory response that over time could be linked to cancer. Most of the cases of ALCL have been reported in women who had textured, not smooth implants.
So far, there have been 359 reports of implant-associated lymphoma from around the world and nine women have died. While these numbers may seem low, this report has just been published and most doctors and patients haven’t been made aware of the signs and symptoms of this potential disease. These numbers may also appear to be sparse because the average diagnosis appeared 13 years after the initial implant surgery which caused doctors to at first question if the implants caused the cancer. However, the JAMA study states that women with ALCL were about 421 times more likely to have breast implants.
When They Knew It
While this JAMA study may be new, the first cases of ALCL and breast implants were reported way back in 1997. The FDA also issued a report in 2011 which said that breast implants were associated with an increased risk of non-anaplastic large cell lymphoma and that, “the FDA is aware of approximately 60 case reports of ALCL in women with breast implants.”
If the FDA knew for several decades that there was a risk for women who had breast implants to develop cancer, why weren’t these women informed? They should have been made aware of the danger and should have been educated on what signs to look for to ensure early detection (such as pain, swelling, or redness).
What Can You Do?
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with breast cancer after having breast implant surgery, you may be eligible to make a claim. You should have been informed of the risk for breast cancer and the possible threat to your health. If you had breast cancer surgery, you most likely have expensive medical bills to pay for or you lost wages when you had to take time off of work to recover. You deserve financial compensation to since you weren’t made aware of the potential for future complications. Contact us today to determine if you can make a claim.