An investigation has revealed that commonly used silicone breast implants in UK aren’t safe. French women have been advised against these ‘textured’ silicone implants as experts try to find links to a rare cancer-type. No warnings have however been issued in UK and women are still using the silicone implants. Regulators stated that action will be taken when a problem is reported. An MHRA spokesperson said that a close eye is being kept on these transplants owing to ongoing safety concerns. Manufacturers assure that extensive studies and testing and decade-long use in Europe and America are proofs that these implants are safe.
Janet Trelawny got silicone breast implants after her breasts were removed because of cancer over 2 decades ago. Now diagnosis reveals that she has breast implant associated lymphoma, a kind of cancer of immune system. In most cases, fluid and scar tissue near implants are affected. It can however also spread throughout the body. The mortified patient has been told that she’ll have to undergo chemotherapy for treating the cancer. Investigations in France have been conducted since 2011 after cases of BIA-ALCL came to light. Although the risks vary all over the world, it’s generally considered to be minimum. 57 cases of BIA-ALCL have been reported till September 2018, 45 of which qualify particular diagnostic criteria. The risks of BIA-ALCL are therefore about 1 in 24,000. BAAPS reports that 90% of implants are now textured and not smooth. Cancer usually occurs in textured implants.
Dr. Turner says that although the risks are low now, more information needs to be gathered to prevent further cases of BIA-ALCL. Investigations have showed that not all manufacturers carry out adequate biocompatibility tests before selling their products to the people considering them to be unnecessary. Some makers say that they’ve conducted all necessary tests, but secrecy about the situation doesn’t reveal any more information. Not all cases go reported either as rupturing of implants is said to be routine events. Risks aren’t known fully as problems may sometimes take years to develop. Breast implant register was set up in 2016 but it still remains voluntary. Prof Carl Heneghan stresses on the importance of patient register as it is what defines patient safety.