AACS Says Do Not Panic About Possible Rare Cancer Link


Alarms were raised recently when an FDA statement reported a potential link between breast implants and a rare form of cancer.

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On Wednesday, January 26, the FDA issued a news release reporting a possible link between breast implants and a very rare type of cancer known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). The release stated that data reviewed by the FDA suggests that patients with breast implants might have a very small but significant risk of ALCL in the scar capsule near the implant sight.

In response, the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) has issued a statement: "Due to the extremely low incidence and some conflicting evidence, The FDA is recommending routine medical care and follow up for women with breast implants. The AACS agrees with the FDA recommendations and would hope that this report does not produce undue panic from the millions of women who have breast implants."

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has also issued a statement regarding the FDA's findings.

As both the FDA and the AACS note, ALCL is very rare. The National Cancer Institute says that this form of cancer appears in different parts of the body, including the lymph nodes and skin. 1 out of every 500,000 women in the US are diagnosed with ALCL every year and is only found in the breast tissue in about 3 of every 100 million women nationwide without breast implants. The AACS is only aware of 60 cases in the world among women with breast implants, but 5-10 million women worldwide have breast implants.

The AACS went on to say that they've established a new task force on safety in cosmetic surgery and that they will continue to update safety guidelines for cosmetic procedures, including breast surgery. The FDA will also continue doing it's research to define any possible relationship between breast implants and ALCL.