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FDA Says Breast Implants Linked to Rare Cancer
Date:1/27/2011

h the FDA to set up a registry of cases so the agency can get a better idea of the relationship between implants and ALCL.

However, the president of the society was wary of the public overreacting to the risk.

"ASPS shares the FDA's commitment to patient safety, but we also want to make certain this information does not raise false alarms with our patients," Dr. Phillip Haeck said in a statement. "We've been down this path before. For nearly 20 years, American women were denied access to their choice of breast implants because of false claims and unfounded science. We are determined this shouldn't happen again."

Haeck is referring to the belief that silicon implants were associated with breast hardening, breast pain, breast implant rupture, and the need for additional surgery and a possible risk of cancer, which caused the FDA to ban them for 14 years.

After further review, the FDA allowed silicon implants to return to the market in 2006.

Commenting on the FDA's announcement, Dr. Jasmine Zain, director of the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Stem Cell/Bone Marrow Transplant Center and an assistant professor in the department of medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said that she was "aware of the link between breast implants and ALCL."

"About five years ago, my colleagues and I discovered that there was a link between lymphoma and breast implants in several patients we treated. Over the years, other doctors have noted the link between rare lymphoma and breast implants. The occurrence is very rare, but women have to be very careful," Zain said. "Women should be aware of the risk when deciding whether or not to get breast implants. Women thinking about getting breast implants and women with breast implants should talk to their doctors and be informed of the risk."

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