Breast Implants Cancer Link: Do Boob Jobs Give You Cancer?





Breast Implants Cancer Link: Do Boob Jobs Give You Cancer? Are breast implants cancerous? There’s a possibility that they are! Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a possible association between breast implants – whether saline or silicone – with a rare type of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). According to the agency, women with breast implants “may have a very small but significant risk of ALCL in the scar capsule adjacent to the implant”.

Because of this, the agency is requesting health professionals to report any ALCL cases they encounter among women with breast implants.

Says Dr. William Maisel, chief scientist and deputy director for science in FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health: “We need more data and are asking that health care professionals tell us about any confirmed cases they identify. We are working with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and other experts in the field to establish a breast implant patient registry, which should help us better understand the development of ALCL in women with breast implants.”

Moreover, the FDA will be asking manufacturers to update their labels to ensure that women planning to have implants will be informed of the possible ALCL risk.

breast implants cancer

It also released the following recommendations to health professionals and women with breast implants or those planning to have one.

  • Health care professionals are requested to report all confirmed cases of ALCL in women with breast implants to Medwatch, the FDA’s safety information and adverse event reporting program. Report online1 or by calling 800-332-1088.
  • Health care professionals should consider the possibility of ALCL if a patient has late onset, persistent fluid around the implant (peri-implant seroma). In cases of implant seroma, send fresh seroma fluid for pathology tests to rule out ALCL.
  • There is no need for women with breast implants to change their routine medical care and follow-up. ALCL is very rare; it has occurred in only a very small number of the millions of women who have breast implants. Although not specific to ALCL, health care providers should follow standard medical recommendations.
  • Women should monitor their breast implants and contact their doctor if they notice any changes.
  • Women who are considering breast implant surgery should discuss the risks and benefits with their health care provider.

The agency is taking the above actions following a review of scientific literature, published between January 1997 and May 2010, which identified 34 unique cases of ALCL in women with both saline and silicone breast implants.


For other blog entries related to Breast Implants Cancer Link, check out post on the saline vs. silicone breast implant debate, whether hormone replacement therapy causes breast cancer, and the incidence of male breast cancer.

Breast Implants Cancer Link: Do Boob Jobs Give You Cancer? Posted 26 January 2011.