FDA Updates Guidance About Breast Implant Link to Lymphoma

Written By:Stacy Simon

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says women with breast implants should have regular checks for the possibility of a certain type of lymphoma. The FDA first reported a possible link between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma in 2011. Since then, more evidence has strengthened the FDA’s understanding of this link.

The new information came from medical device reports, current medical literature, international regulators and scientific experts, and patient data. The World Health Organization last year officially recognized breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) as a rare form of lymphoma. Evidence shows that BIA-ALCL occurs more often in women who have implants with textured surfaces compared with smooth surfaces.

What you need to know

  • Signs and symptoms of BIA-ALCL may include lumps, pain, swelling, and asymmetry (breasts look different from each other).
  • The FDA advises women considering breast implants to talk with their health care team about the benefits and risks of textured-surface vs. smooth-surface implants.
  • If you already have breast implants, the FDA advises you to continue your regular, routine medical care and follow-up. If you notice any changes in your breasts, contact your health care provider.

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