Breast Implant Associated – Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
Recently we have seen sensationalised media coverage on cancer associated with breast implants – with misinformation from various media sources implicating ‘low cost breast surgery’.
Here is short summary information relating to this disease and the implications for patients with breast implants.
In Australia we have used Allergan textured implants that, according to the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) and the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), have a 1 in 4,000 incidence of ALCL and Mentor Siltex textured implants with a recorded 1 in 60,000 incidence of ALCL. We have also used Polytech Health textured implants from Germany but there is no shared data yet available from this brand.
All Thai clients have had Mentor Siltex textured implants – which are the lowest incidence of ALCL recorded as 1 in 60,000 according to ASAPS and ASPS.
Our surgeons and hospitals maintain a register of the individual manufacturer (Allergan, Mentor, Polytech etc) serial numbers of each implant used for our patients.
Surgeons have only commenced advising patients of BIA-ALCL since late last year when ASAPS/ASPS published their findings on BIA-ALCL in September 2017. This corresponded with the publication by the US FDA in September last year of records supplied from medical device companies in relation to ALCL.
Our Thailand surgeons also commenced advising patients in late 2017, following the international publication of data on BIA-ALCL.
It is important to note that BIA-ALCL is NOT breast cancer, but a type of lymphoma which is a cancer of the immune system.
Breast cancer itself will affect 1 in 8 women in Australia, with a mortality rate currently running around 1 in 7 for those affected with breast cancer. There is no correlation between breast cancer and breast implants.
3 women have died of the 55 diagnosed with BIA-ALCL in Australia in the past 10 years, whereas over 30,000 Australian women have died from breast cancer alone and a total of around 200,000 women have died from all cancers in the past 10 years.
There are an estimated 30,000,000 women in the world with textured implants, and to date, less than 500 recorded cases of BIA-ALCL worldwide, with less than 20 recorded deaths from this extremely rare disease.
We will publish more detailed information on BIA-ALCL as we gather statistics and information from Australian and international sources.