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Amid increasing concerns worldwide about the cancer risks linked to breast implants, U.K. health regulators indicates that at least two deaths from anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) have been identified among women who received textured breast implants, leading to a major safety review.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has reportedly confirmed at least 23 cases of the rare cancer among women who received breast implants, including at two fatalities. As a result, the MHRA is among a number of health agencies worldwide to indicate that the safety of textured breast implants is being reviewed.
According to information provided to British news agencies, MHRA officials cannot definitively link the ALCL deaths to the breast implants, but the information comes as mounting research suggests that textured surfaces of certain types of implants may promote the development of the cancer, which many experts are now referring to as breast-implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)..
Earlier this year, the FDA issued warnings about breast implant lymphoma risks, indicating that the agency was aware of at least 359 medical device reports involving women diagnosed with the rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, including at least nine deaths.
After Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) launched an effort to monitor for cases of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) from breast implants, the number of identified cases in that country more than doubled, increasing the level of concern among doctors and patients worldwide.
Independent investigators have noted that the breast implant cancer problems appear more commonly among women who received devices with a textured surface, which may be causing chronic inflammation and immune system reactions, leading to the development of lymphoma in the fluid around the breast implant.
Last month, another study published in the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgerysuggested that certain textured breast implants may increase the risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma anywhere from 10 to 14 times, when compared to smooth breast implants.
The MHRA investigation is part of a large EU task force investigating BIA-ALCL and its frequency and effects across Europe.
As researchers continue to evaluate the specific cause of the breast implant lymphoma problems, many women are raising serious questions about why certain products appear to be more likely to be associated with the development of cancer, and how manufacturers failed to address potential design defects earlier.
Product liability lawyers are reviewing potential breast implant ALCL lawsuits for women diagnosed with this rare cancer that develops in the tissue surrounding the implant.