Breast implants may cause rare cancer

Diana Crawford
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - There have only been 60 cases worldwide of women getting a rare form of blood cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma or ALCL. But it's enough for the FDA to begin researching the possible link.

Plastic surgeon Doctor Patrick Proffer says, Especially because there have been only 3 cases of ALCL in women without breast implants. Plastic surgeon, Dr. Patrick Proffer says, "The majority of those that have been diagnosed have been what's called a late, on-set seroma where you get a fluid collection around the implant. One side enlarges noticeably in comparison with the other. Most of them have not been diagnosed from symptoms, but from a change in the implant, whether it was a lump or a mass, or an increase in the size of the implant."

But Dr. Proffer says patients with breast implants or those who are looking to have augmentation should not worry. He explains, "The biggest thing patients have to know is it's not an indication to take your implants out. It's a very rare syndrome and the correlation has not been established. The breast implant is the most tested device in the history of medicine and we maintain that it's a safe implant."

Dr. Proffer says all forms of implants have been involved in ALCL cases and a lot of research still needs to be done. The FDA is working with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to create a breast implant registry to keep track of patients and possible ALCL cases.