Breast implants carry increased lymphoma risk for rare few

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Raylene Hollrah was 33, with a young daughter, when she learned she had breast cancer. She made a difficult decision, one she hoped would save her life: She had her breasts removed, underwent grueling chemotherapy and then had reconstructive surgery.

 

In 2013, six years after her first diagnosis, cancer struck again — not breast cancer, but a rare malignancy of the immune system — caused by the implants used to rebuild her chest.

Nearly all the cases of breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma have been linked to textured implants like this one.

Her disease — breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma — is a mysterious cancer that has affected a tiny proportion of the more than 10 million women worldwide who have received implants.

The Food and Drug Administration first reported a link between implants and the disease in 2011, and information was added to the products’ labeling.

What exactly causes the disease is not known. One theory is that bacteria may cling to textured implants and form a coating called a biofilm that stirs up the immune system and causes persistent inflammation, which may eventually lead to lymphoma.

Another possible cause is that some women have a genetic trait that somehow, in the presence of implants, predisposes them to lymphoma.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: A shocking diagnosis: Breast implants ‘gave me cancer’