Got CANCER and a 17-month-long Seroma from my Implants, Now Forced to Have Them Removed with Even Bigger Scar. - Toronto, ON

I got my Allergan 410 Naturelle cohesive gel...

I got my Allergan 410 Naturelle cohesive gel biocell textured implants back in 2006. Just over six years later my right breast swelled up to double the size. No doctors could figure it out. Finally, 17 months later, Dr. Tracy Pfeifer in NYC (who is great) figured it out and I got tests done and it's definitely cancer caused by the implants. A type of lymphoma (that's not as rare as surgeons would have you believe, because nobody tests for it, I'm guessing on purpose) called ALCL is caused by getting implants of all types (silicone and saline). Anyhow, I have to have them permanently removed with most of the capsule, which the surgeon tells me is going to leave me looking not-so-great, and with a much larger scar than they needed to put them in (not to mention very expensive). I wish I'd never gotten them. Nobody told me about all the risks, and the ones I knew about I figured wouldn't happen to me -- but the worst-case-scenario did happen to me. Don't think it can't happen to you.

Logic dictates that the stats on how many women get ALCL are totally wrong

I think that the stats on how many women get ALCL are completely wrong. It only makes sense that way way more women get this and are simply not tested for it correctly (it requires very specific type of testing that can only be done in certain major top cancer centers, and many doctors would accidentally put the biopsy specimen in formaldehyde which would kill the lymphoma cells and product a negative result, for example, or they would do the wrong test, which happened to me several times before the correct one was done at Memorial Sloan). Also, I saw five top NYC surgeons (both in private practice and at the top hospitals here) and a slew of doctors and NONE of them thought to test for ALCL despite the fact that I had a recurring seroma for 18 months. My mom read about ALCL and I had to go get tested on my own to find out I had it. So, if I had that experience in the upper east side of NYC, then imagine someone living in Oklahoma or Brasil... there's almost no chance they'd get tested, or tested correctly. Also, the treatment is to remove the implant and capsule before it spreads and needs chemo... I imagine that most of the women who've had seromas did this without realizing that it was cancer and were just lucky that it didn't spread... or it did spread and they assumed it was regular Lymphoma. See my point? The FDA numbers can't possibly be correct.

FYI

FYI: My seroma came and went about every two months for the first year, and then stayed large for the past 8 months. I also had an itchy rash on my calves and arms (probably a reaction to the inflammation).

I'm having surgery to have the implants removed this month, at Memorial Sloan in NYC. They don't think I should put new ones in, but I plan on putting smooth gel ones in (using Dr Tracy Pfeifer) after I heal fully, in 3 to 6 months. No way am I going to wear a training bra for the rest of my life!

Surgeons don't want to test for ALCL cancer....

I think that PS's in general don't test for ALCL (which 100% is cancer - it's lymphoma!) because they don't want more people on record as having it. So, instead, they just do the recommended treatment (without the testing to see if it has spread), and remove the implants, and cross their fingers. If the lymphoma has already spread, or spreads after that, now there's no way to prove it was breast implant associated. :(
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

He did a good job, inadequate followup. Even when I approached him with a massive seroma he didn't tell me I should get tested for implant-caused ALCL (lymphoma) cancer (100% caused BY the implants), and because of that I've had cancer for an extra 17 months and it might have spread.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
2 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
2 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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How old are you if u dont mind me asking.
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Everything you wrote makes total sense, thank you so much for sharing for your story. I had major issues with my implants, and I only had them for 3 months. So I can only imagine the havoc they can cause in the body when given years. I agree all the "studies" on implants are total BS. The numbers are fudged, and the stats are not correct. Hopefully you can get this situation sorted soon, with your health fully restored.
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Good luck!! All the best.. Wish you a smooth recovery. Btw why did u decide on putting smooth gel one?
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So sorry to hear this!! Thank you very much for sharing.. I just a have a question, were you told that the ALCL was due to the implants? I have done soo much research and they said that there is no proof that implants can cause cancer. Your reply is appreciated. P.S I would just like to give you a small advice, there is a doctor in Rome called Dr. Tulio Simoncini who treats all cancers using bicarbonate and has plenty of good reviews on the internet. I would suggest you do good research before undergoing any surgery or taking any medication. Good luck, hope you will get well very soon..
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IT's is 100% caused BY the implants. The other info stating that impants don't cause cancer is old and incorrect. Plus, surgeons usually don't test for it... most of the 200 people my oncologist told me about that have ALCL cancer from their implants saw many surgeons over many years, who didn't think to test for it. Google BIA-ALCL and check the FDA website (although the numbers aren't accurate, as they posted that before they notified doctors of the issue). I saw 5 top NYC plastic surgeons and none told me about this. My mom found out about it online and when I asked to be tested, the surgeon said there's no way I have it, so not to test for it. It's only because I insisted and went on my own for that type of biopsy that I finally found out I have cancer. I'm sure the industry wants to keep it quiet.
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That's not good news!! I was really looking forward to get mine done :( Hope you will get well soon. Do you have any idea what's the relation between ALCL and implants as from what I understood its a type of lymphoma not a breast cancer. I hope you get well soon. All the best.
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I would also like to ask you, did you go over the muscle or under? And do does it differ with ALCL
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After reading about ALCL. Can I also ask you if you had textured implants or smooth ones?
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Over or under, saline smooth or silicone textured... it makes no difference with ALCL -- all types have gotten it. I also think that the stats are completely wrong -- way way more women get this and are simply not tested for it correctly (it requires very specific type of testing that can only be done in certain major top cancer centers, and many doctors would accidentally put the biopsy specimen in formaldehyde which would kill the lymphoma cells and product a negative result, for example, or they would do the wrong test, which happened to me several times before the correct one was done at Memorial Sloan).
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Thank you for your reply.. I wish you all the best in your recovery.. Get well soon
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I have been following Dr Roberto Miranda with MD Anderson cancer center in Houston, Tx. and his research on breast implant ALCL. The numbers are very much under reported!
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Did you get rid of the cancer and do you still have the implants.?
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Actually, the FDA forgot to ask if the implants were smooth or textured in over half of the cases. In the cases that were reported, they were all textured. Hope that helps!
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I'm having surgery to have them removed this month. BUT there are cases of relapse, even after the implants are removed, so I'll always have to follow a strict anti-cancer diet from now on. If you want to change your diet, I recommend "Crazy Sexy Diet" by Kris Carr (a beautiful young woman who also has cancer) - it's complete, fun and easy to follow.
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So sorry to hear this! Prayers up for you that it hasn't spread & you have successful treatment. This is a scary reality too often overlooked, thanks for sharing.
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