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Breast Implant Cancer Diagnosis Caused By McGhan Textured Design, Lawsuit Alleges

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson
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A North Carolina woman has filed a product liability lawsuit against Allergan, Inc., alleging that the textured design of her McGhan breast implants caused the development of a rare type of cancer, known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Karon Howe in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina on March 19, indicating that Allergan sold a defective and unreasonably dangerous breast implant design, which has been linked to a risk of cancer around the breast implant.

Howe first received her McGhan saline textured breast implants in 1996, when they were made by the McGhan Medical Corporation. However, Allergan acquired the company in 2006, and continued the line of textured breast implants under the Biocell brand name.

In June 2019, Howe was diagnosed with BIA-ALCL after she began experiencing pain in her right breast. In July 2019 she had both the implants surgically removed.

That same month, Allergan was forced to issue a worldwide breast implant recall, removing all products from the market that featured the macrotextured design, after federal regulators in the United States determine nearly all reported cases of BIA-ALCL were linked to the design.

Howe has since had to undergo additional treatments, including radiation therapy, and must undergo regular medical monitoring for the rest of her life, the lawsuit indicates.

The breast implant cancer involves a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma that may develop in the tissue surrounding the implant. As a result of the risk, dozens of women nationwide have filed claims against the manufacturer, alleging that they may have avoided a cancer diagnosis if the manufacturer had not intentionally covered up the problems and misled patients and the medical community.

“At the time the implants were placed into Ms. Howe’s body, she was not advised, nor did she have any independent knowledge, that the breast implants were anything other than safe, life-long products. Nor was she advised that the product was associated with and/or known to cause BIA-ALCL and that she would require future surgery and treatments,” the lawsuit states. “If Ms. Howe had been advised that implantation was associated with even the slightest risk of developing ALCL and/or BIA-ALCL she would not have proceeded with implantation.”

A growing number of lawsuits are also being by women who did not develop BIA-ALCL, but indicate that they either already had the implants removed or plan to, in order to protect their safety. At least six women filed claims last week in New Jersey state court indicating that Allergan should be required to pay for medical procedures, and breast implant replacements.

In the federal court system, at least 50 complaints over the breast implant cancer problems have been consolidated as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the District of New Jersey, where U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti is presiding over all pretrial proceedings to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues in the claims, avoid conflicting schedules and orders, and serve the convenience of common witnesses, parties and the judicial system.

As more women undergo procedures to have breast implants removed due to the cancer problems, or receive a diagnosis of BIA-ALCL, the size and scope of the litigation is expected to continue to expand over the coming months.

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1 comment

  1. Connie Reply

    I have InMed McGhan textured saline implants. I have had (such bad skin rashes that it looked like I had 2nd & 3rd degree burns) since 2007. Sometimes severe rashes, night sweats, having very hard time breathing, pain in my breast for a few years now off & on for 6 months my left breast is very painful especially when I wear my bra with the swelling. I have had a breast ultrasound saw multiple masses, distortion and unusual Large lymph nodes in both breasts. Had a Breast MRI. Can’t find a surgeon to do a needle guided biopsy. Can’t find a Certified Plastic surgeon in WV that is knowledgeable on testing or removal of fluid (masses) to do a CD 30 test with the biopsyed fluid, sick with no help. I had an appointment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Tx. Where they’re researching BIA-ALCL. Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (Lymph node cancer) In one week but it will cost me $17,000 dollars for my first evaluation for BIA-ALCL. Medicaid won’t cover me to go to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. So I guess I will just get sicker as I what for Doctors to gain knowledge by the time that happens I could be pushing up daisies. I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroid disorder. Guess who makes my Thyroid medication? Allergan that’s who. Also was tested for Lupus yes I now have Lupus. So no I would have never let my Plastic surgeon put these in if I would have known this would be my fate 2003 to 2020 -17 years for this to develop. Ladies do not put these in your body. They could cause you to have cancer, I would rather have no breast tissue and be healthy. We need help!!! When we are going through Breast Cancer they are teams that take through each step of your cancer treatments step by step. But nothing when it’s man made cancer. Not fair we need help. Who is going to help? It is been seen after the implants are removed there’s still a likely chance of still developing cancer of the immune system. How are we supposed to pay for this high tech monitoring and diagnostic testing? We can’t even get help to get the first round of man made cancer diagnosed. Sad day ladies very sad time to be a Ginny Pig for the manufacturer of these textured implant and textured tissue expanders.

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