The FDA announced this month that they have seen an increase in the number of reported cases of a rare cancer linked to breast implants.
The cancer is called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) and over an eight-year period that ended in September 2018, the FDA received a total of 660 reports of this cancer. Of those 660 reported cases, 246 have come since the totals were released last year.
In total, 457 of the reported cases were unique and also included 9 patient deaths. The reason for the lower number of unique cases is because the reporting system allows patients, healthcare providers, and manufacturers to each file a separate report for the same case.
One reason for the increase, according to the FDA statement, is due to the fact that the FDA has encouraged providers and patients to report the cases. This includes past cases that were not previously reported.
BIA-ALCL is a type of lymphoma and not breast cancer. Most of the reported cases have been linked to textured breast implants; although, some of the cases were reported among women with smooth implants. The FDA also cited that a number of reports did not include the type of texture of the breast implant. This makes it more difficult to better understand the certain types of implants that can be connected to the cancer.
The FDA is once again encouraging health care providers and patients to report any cases of BIA-ALCL. They hope with more data, they will be able to better understand the causes of the condition.
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