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The FDA is investigating a link between breast implants and lymphoma cancer, Fox News reports. The investigation covers both saline and silicone gel-filled breast implants.
As many as 10 million women worldwide have opted for breast implant surgery. It has become quite mainstream, but a number of studies reported to the FDA are cause for concern. 60 cases that have been reported to the FDA over the course of more than a decade show a potential link between implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
The disease is very rare. ALCL is diagnosed in only one out of every 500,000 women.
The cancer attacks lymph nodes and is very serious. In breast implant cases of lymphoma, or cases involving breast implants, the cancer shows up in the area surrounding the implants. Patients often visited doctors after complaining of pain, swelling, sensitivity and lumps.
U.S. breast implants are marketed by Allergan Inc. and Johnson & Johnson's Mentor Corp, Fox News reports. The companies must now update their product labeling to detail the possible cancer links.
"Women should monitor their breast implants and contact their doctor if they notice any changes ... Women who are considering breast implant surgery should discuss the risks and benefits with their health care provider," the FDA said in a statement regarding ALCL.
Silicone implants were pulled by the FDA in 1992, however they were reauthorized in 2006 after studies failed to prove a danger due to silicone breast implants.
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