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Study confirms link between breast implants and rare form of cancer
Date:4/19/2011

t implants, 29 of which were diagnosed as anaplastic large cell lymphoma. At least 12 of the 29 women had a prior history of a different type of cancer, including eight who had undergone mastectomy for breast cancer and two who had a previous history of ALCL. There was no evidence that patient risk factors or particular types of implants would increase the risk of the disease.

While some patients received chemotherapy and/or radiation, the treatment in most instances consisted of surgically removing the affected implant and surrounding tissue, which appeared to successfully control the disease. No deaths were reported among the 16 women for whom follow-up information was available.

RAND researchers shared the review findings with a panel of medical experts and asked them to weigh in on a series of questions related to the causes, diagnosis, and management of anaplastic large cell lymphoma associated with breast implants, based on their reading of the review and their own knowledge. The panel included experts from many disciplines, including epidemiology, oncology, immunology, pathology and material science.

The panel concluded that the evidence suggests an association between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma, but cannot definitely prove that implants cause the disease nor explain how the implants might trigger ALCL.

The experts recommended that the appearance of a fluid-filled sac near a breast implant six or more months after surgery should lead to a thorough diagnostic evaluation for anaplastic large cell lymphoma. They also concluded that the diagnosis of anaplastic large cell lymphoma should result in a complete evaluation to rule out spread of the disease outside of the breast capsule (the lining that forms around the implant), followed by removal of the implant and capsule.

Experts did not believe that disease confined to the implant capsule warrants radiation treatment or chemotherapy after su
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Contact: Warren Robak
robak@rand.org
310-451-6913
RAND Corporation
Source:Eurekalert

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