Written by: Heather Helmendach, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.
As news of the possible link between breast implants and a rare form of lymphoma cancer has spread, more theories about how it develops have come to light.
One such theory is outlined in the excerpt, below, from the article, "Increase in Australian cancer cases linked to breast implants":
Dr. Gazi Hussain, Vice President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, said the true incidence and cause of ALCL was not yet known but surgeons had a working theory.
"We think what might be happening is there's potentially issues with technique with inserting breast implants where low amounts of bacteria may be introduced into the patient," he said.
"That causes low grade inflammation and this low grade inflammation may lead to the development of this type of lymphoma. It's a theory.
The FDA reported in 2011 that those with textured breast implants seem to have a higher risk of developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), based on the reports they received from women diagnosed with the disease.
There are several theories on why textured implants may present an increased risk, as described from a Today health and wellness article:
Researchers don’t know the exact reason why textured implants would raise the risk, but there are several theories.
It may be that the texturing creates particles that cause abrasion, leading the body’s immune system to develop the disease after a number of years. Or perhaps some women are genetically susceptible to ALCL. Another theory is that a small amount of bacteria on the surface of the implant causes the body to wall it off, but it remains a constant irritant and given enough time — eight to 10 years — it could develop into a lymphoma.
While BIA-ALCL is an exceedingly rare disease, it is still a very real and potentially devastating one that has affected over 359 women.
The article, titled, "'I was shocked': Woman fights rare cancer linked to breast implants" tells the story of Stacey Boone, who was diagnosed with BIA-ALCL due to her textured breast implants.
Boone originally developed flu-like symptoms and was treated accordingly for three months before four lumps were found under her arm; she was then diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. As for her treatment, her implants were removed and she "underwent four six-week rounds of chemotherapy, plus a stem cell transplant at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida." Fortunately, Boone will be in remission for two years as of this coming June.
If you know someone like Boone who has been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL as a result of breast implants, we urge you to complete our free case evaluation form.
If you would like to learn more about BIA-ACL, visit the information page on our website.
We will continue to monitor the medical literature concerning breast implants and this rare type of lymphoma, and report on new information as it is released.