From The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/health/breast-implants-cancer-deaths.html
As of Feb. 1, the agency had received a total of 359 reports of the cancer associated with the implants. The deaths were not caused by breast cancer, the agency said, but by a rare malignancy in the immune system, anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. In cases linked to implants, this rare form of cancer grows in the breast, usually in the capsule of scar tissue that forms around an implant. It is usually treatable and not often fatal.
The problem is more likely to occur with textured implants, which have a pebbly surface, than with smooth implants, the agency said. Of the 359 reported cases, 231 included information about the implant surface: 203 were textured, and 28 smooth.
The contents of the implants appeared much less important: Of 312 cases where the contents were known, 186 were filled with silicone gel, and 126 with saline.
Cases generally come to light when symptoms develop, like lumps, pain, fluid buildup and swelling.
The agency said it was impossible to say how many cases exist, because of limited reporting of problems and a lack of worldwide sales data on implants.
About 290,000 women in the United States had implants for breast enlargement in 2016, and 109,000 received them for reconstruction after breast cancer, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
In many cases when the lymphoma occurs, just removing the implant and the tissue around it eliminates the disease. But some women may need chemotherapy and radiation.
Why there is a difference in risk related to the surfaces is not known, but the body’s reaction to textured implants is different from its reaction to smooth ones, according to Dr. Alex K. Wong, a plastic surgeon and researcher at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. Tissue grows into microscopic grooves in the textured implants.
“When we take these out, you can hear a peeling sound,” Dr. Wong said. “Whereas with a smooth implant, it’s like Jell-O. You can spin it around. It moves really easily.”
Continue reading at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/health/breast-implants-cancer-deaths.html