As of February 1, 2017, the FDA has received a total of 359 reports of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, including nine reported deaths.
While the current research suggests that while women with breast implants have a low chance of contracting BIA-ALCL, the risk is greater as compared to women who do not have breast implants.
BIA-ALCL is a very rare type of cancer. A report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgery Foundation estimates that fewer than 10 cases are diagnosed each year. Another study estimates the incidence of diagnosis to be one in 300,000.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma after receiving breast implants, it might be beneficial to consult with a skillful attorney to discuss how to proceed. If you have sustained other injuries or worsened conditions from a defective implant, you have legal rights.
Our dangerous medical device lawyers are currently investigating cases for patients diagnosed with cancer and other injuries in association with breast implants, including the Allergan Biocell implants. Several studies have revealed a link between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Types of Breast Implant Defects
One of the most common issues involving breast implants is when they are not constructed well. This can cause them to rupture, sometimes shortly after the surgery was performed. As a result, they can leak fluid into a person’s body, where it is absorbed.
When a breast implant contains gel, it is often too thick for the body to absorb. This means the gel will simply collect in the liner of the implant, causing them to become hard and uncomfortable.
When the valves in saline implants are defective, this can cause bodily fluids to enter the implant. This can contaminate it and cause bacteria to grow. In some cases, this will even turn the liquid inside the implant a murky brown color. Bacteria can also grow when the texture of the implant is defective. Implants should have a smooth outer surface. When they do not, bacteria can grasp onto the implant and multiply, which could make patients very sick.
Furthermore, all breast implants have an outer casing. When this component of the implant is defective, it can flake off. This is very dangerous, as it then enters a person’s body and can cause serious damage.
What is Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)?
Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma is a rare T-cell lymphoma that can develop at and around the breast implant site.
Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system. It refers to the cancer of lymphocytes, which are special white blood cells that fight infection. Lymphocytes can be present anywhere in the body, which makes it possible for cancer to form in any part of the body.
In cases of breast implant-associated cancer, anaplastic large cell lymphoma appears in the tissue capsule surrounding the implant.
What are the Symptoms of Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma?
If you develop symptoms of BIA-ALCL, it is essential that you contact your doctor immediately. Symptoms include:
- Lumps near and around the implant site
- Persistent swelling in the breast area
- Persistent pain in the breast area
- Fluid collection in the breast area
What Types of Breast Implants are Associated with BIA-ALCL?
Studies on BIA-ALCL and FDA data suggest that an implant’s surface type, as well as its fill type, could affect the development of cancer.
Of the 359 cases of BIA-ALCL reported to the FDA, the following information was obtained:
- 203 were textured surface implants
- 28 were smooth surface implants
- 186 contained a silicone gel fill type
- 126 contained a saline fill type
These figures suggest that breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma occurs more frequently with textured implants than smooth-surface implants. Researchers have not yet identified an underlying explanation for this association.
The data also confirms that BIA-ALCL is associated with both saline-filled breast implants and silicone gel breast implants.
Can Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma Be Treated?
In most cases, BIA-ALCL can be treated by removing the implant and capsule surrounding the implant. Some patients, however, require chemotherapy and radiation to treat cancer.
The FDA recommends that patients who receive breast implants follow standard medical recommendations, including monitoring the implants per your doctor’s instructions. Mammograms should be routinely scheduled, as well as MRIs if the implants are silicone gel-filled.
If you detect any changes around the implant site, contact your doctor immediately.
What are the Criteria for Filing a Breast Implant-Associated Cancer Lawsuit?
If you developed anaplastic large cell lymphoma as a result of breast implants, you may be entitled to compensation for the implant manufacturer.
In order to file a breast implant-associated cancer lawsuit, the following criteria must be met:
- Must be diagnosed with breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma
- May have experienced symptoms of BIA-ALCL including swelling, pain, and fluid collection in the breast area
- If a diagnosis has not been made, consultation with the client’s physicians may be necessary. A biopsy can provide a definitive diagnosis.
- Implant does not have to still be in place
Can I File a Breast Implant Cancer Lawsuit?
Our award-winning dangerous device attorneys can help you if you were diagnosed with breast implant-associated cancer or have suffered other negative conditions.
We have the experience necessary to take on powerful medical device manufacturers. We do not charge any legal fees unless you receive a settlement, and we pay all of the case costs.
When we take on a case, we handle it from start to finish. We work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
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