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Breast implants recalled over fears of link to rare cancer

3AW Breakfast

A range of breast implants have been banned from sale in Australia amid fears they may cause a form of blood cancer.

Eight types of textured implants have been recalled by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and banned for the next six months while manufacturers look into the safety concerns.

President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dr Gazi Hussain, said research over the past decade has indicated highly textured implants may be associated with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare cancer.

Dr Hussain said the more textured an implant is, the greater the risk.

“The implants that have a much rougher surface seem to have a higher risk of developing this type of lymphoma,” he told 3AW’s Kate and Quarters.

Rough textured implants are believed to cause blood cancer in one-in-3000 to one-in-10,000 cases.

Smoother implants also carry a risk, but this is closer to one-in-80,000.

“To put this in perspective, the risk of a woman developing breast cancer is one-in-eight, and the risk of a woman developing a cancer from radiation to treat her breast cancer is about one-in-8000,” Dr Hussain said.

Women who already have breast implants have been urged to contact their surgeon.

“They should go back to see the surgeon who put the implants in … have a discussion, find out the type of implant that was used, and then be monitored, perhaps annually,” Dr Hussain said.

“If there are no symptoms, if there are no problems, then women do not need to be concerned and there is certainly no advice that these implants need to be removed.”

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma typically presents as sudden swelling around the breast, or may present as a significant lump.

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