Breast Implants & Blood Cancer?
Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma is an aggressive type of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a white blood cell cancer that usually affects older adults and is more common in men. According to a new small Dutch study, in recent years, the number of women diagnosed with h in the breast has boosted, suggesting that getting breast implants might cause cancer.
In this study, patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the breast who were added to a Dutch cancer registry between 1990 and 2016 were examined. Out of the 43 patients with breast anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, 32 had breast implants, compared to just one woman out of the 146 patients in the study who had other types of breast lymphomas.
This result suggests that breast anaplastic large-cell lymphoma is 421 times more likely to happen in women with breast implants. By the age of 75, only one in every 6,920 women with implants will develop this kind of cancer, showing that the total risk is low.
According to Dr. Daphne de Jong of the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, who is the senior author in the study, women should be informed about their risk of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma when considering getting implants so that they can make an educated choice. They should also be aware of signs and symptoms so that when they notice any lump or enlargement of the breast, they can immediately consult their doctor.
Dr. de Jong also said that while it’s not exactly clear why implants might lead to an increased risk of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, the possibility lies in the immune system response or an inflammatory reaction to bacteria on the surface of the implants.
A particular kind of implants called macrotextured implants may also pose a greater risk. Among 28 cases of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma in women with a common type of implant, the research found that 23 had macrotextured implants.
Based on the study, while this type of implant accounted for 82% of the anaplastic large-cell lymphoma cases, these implants only had 45% market share in the Netherlands during the study period. In comparison, microtextured implants made up 54% of the Dutch market but accounted for only 18% of the anaplastic large-cell lymphoma cases in the study.
The study had some limitations, though. First, it wasn’t a controlled experiment that was created specifically to prove whether implants in general might cause breast lymphomas. Second, it involved too few patients for the researchers to be able to gauge how aspects like the duration of implant use or the type of implant used might affect the chances of developing breast lymphomas.
According to Dr. Colleen McCarthy, a researcher at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, while getting breast implants can definitely improve a woman’s body image and general quality of life, breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma is an extremely rare and highly treatable form of lymphoma, so women should sit down and discuss with their doctors what type of implant to get, should they consider getting them done, even if the risk of developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma is rare.