Written by: Laura Beasley, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.
As previously stated, we have been keeping up with what is going on as regards the dangers of breast implant procedures in relation to the rare blood cancer, Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. For more a more extensive background of BIA-ALCL in relation to breast implants, visit our Breast Implants Lymphoma Cancer page on our law firm's website.
An NBC News Article, “French authorities call for ban of Allergan textured breast implants” provides us with recent data on this issue. The number of BIA-ALCL diagnoses has gone from one per million to one per 2,832. The total number of cases now is 457 in the U.S. and approximately 700 worldwide. The number of deaths has risen from 9 to 16.
BIA-ALCL Education is a Necessity
Earlier this month, a MedPage Today article, “Breast Implant-Associated Lymphoma on the Rise” asserts the need for doctors and patients to understand the risks, signs, and symptoms of BIA-ALCL prior to any breast implant procedure, but especially ones with textured implants. This way, patients are able to give educated, informed consent before undergoing a procedure. Patients have been previously misdiagnosed due to the lack of awareness or failure to conduct appropriate practice recommendations. The earlier BIA-ALCL is diagnosed, the better.
Ban on Textured Implants
The February 2019 NBC News Article informs that in the beginning of February, France banned Allergan’s textured breast implants. 85% of the French market comes from textured breast implants, but they have become too increasingly associated with BIA-ALCL. The ban was put in place two days after the FDA’s public investigatory hearing regarding the health risks surrounding breast implant devices. You can refer to our recent article from early April, “March 2019 FDA Meeting On Breast Implants: A Summary Of What You Need To Know” for a concise version of what took place at the meeting.
We learn from the ICIJ article, “Canada Halts Sales of Cancer-Linked Breast Implants, as Global Scrutiny Grows” that now two more countries, Canada and the Netherlands, are following France's decision.
A recent February article of ours, “Breast Implants Lymphoma Cancer Cases Updates For United States And Canada: February 2019" provides information as to the earlier stages of this issue in Canada. Now, Canada has announced its plans to ban textured breast implants, with intent from Health Canada to alert Allergan of the upcoming suspension of implant sales.
In the Netherlands, the Dutch National Plastic Surgery Association has voluntarily suspended macro-textured and polyurethane implants, in response to an urgent request from the Dutch health minister.
This ICIJ article also highlights new findings and developments on breast implant risks:
According to one forthcoming study, Silimed polyurethane textured implants pose a 23-times higher risk of ALCL, and Allergan Biocell textured implants pose a 16-times higher risk of ALCL, than lower surface area Siltex textured implants by Johnson & Johnson. Based on data from Australia and New Zealand, the study will appear in the May issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
This issue is evidently becoming increasingly troublesome in the United States and other countries around the world. As always, we will continue to monitor new information and developments in the BIA-ALCL literature, and to see if the U.S. may follow in the decision to ban textured implants.