Do Breast Implants Cause a Rare Form of Lymphoma?

I am considering breast augmentation. I am rest-assured from what I have read that they do not cause breast cancer, but now I am reading 2011 research ( that implants are associated with a very rare Lymphoma inside the pockets of the implants as well as increased incidence of brain cancer, and lung cancer!! Is this true? Are implants still safe?

Doctor Answers 2

Breast implant patients developing lymphoma and other cancer

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The FDA, working with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, has a great web site discussing Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) found in breast implant patients. Search Google for ALCL breast implants.   It reports 60 cases among the 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 women who are thought to have breast implants.  The bottom line: more research is necessary to see if the implants caused the ALCL and what (if any) the association is.  You are right, this is NOT a breast cancer, it is lymphoma.  I have never heard of breast implants causing breast, brain, lung or any other (except ALCL) cancers.  So, what to do?  I would speak with your board certified plastic surgeon about this issue, just like you would any other issue, and decide yourself if implants are right for you.  I will continue to evaluate the data.  Best of luck to you.

Certain kind of breast implants are linked to a rare lymphoma

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Some women with certain types of breast implants have developed a very rare type of  cancer called Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL).  There is a lot of information available on this subject but it is very difficult to navigate for a non-medical person.

Overall, the rate of incidence of this problem is extremely low, and the details of causation (if the implants actually cause the issue) are not clear.

I encourage you to read and discuss the issue with your Doctor.  References are available on my site at the link below.

Mario Diana, MD
Plano Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.