Alert over breast im­plants af­ter two women are killed by can­cer

Daily Mail - - News - By So­phie Bor­land Health Ed­i­tor

TWO women died from can­cer af­ter be­ing fit­ted with con­tro­ver­sial breast im­plants, the medicines watch­dog re­vealed.

An­other 23 have de­vel­oped the same type of can­cer – anaplas­tic large cell lym­phoma – which has pre­vi­ously been linked to tex­tured sur­face im­plants.

The Medicines and Health­care Prod­ucts Reg­u­la­tory Agency (MHRA), which pub­lished the fig­ures, is cur­rently un­der­tak­ing a ma­jor re­view into their safety.

Can­cer cases world­wide have been linked to im­plants that have a tex­tured or slightly rough­ened sur­face, rather than a smooth cov­er­ing, in­tro­duced around 15 years ago.

It is thought tex­tur­ing may cause in­flam­ma­tion that can lead to can­cer af­ter sev­eral years.

The MHRA stressed there was so far no de­fin­i­tive ev­i­dence the can­cers were caused by the im­plants. But ex­perts dis­agreed and called for tougher ac­tion, while US reg­u­la­tors have also raised con­cern over their safety.

Pro­fes­sor Jim Frame, an ex­pert in cos­metic surgery at Anglia Ruskin Uni­ver­sity, said: ‘This can­cer is a po­ten­tial bomb­shell that has been swept un­der the car­pet for five years. Tex­tured im­plants should be banned. We should re­turn to us­ing smooth ones which were safe.’

Anaplas­tic large cell lym­phoma (ALCL) is a rare form of can­cer that af­fects the lymph glands in the im­mune sys­tem.

There are ap­prox­i­mately 400 new cases in the UK each year and most can be suc­cess­fully treated with chemo­ther­apy.

Around 8,000 women had breast en­large­ment surgery last year in Bri­tain. Last Oc­to­ber a regis­ter of breast surgery pa­tients was set up to im­prove safety af­ter the 2010 PIP im­plant scan­dal af­fected up to 47,000 women. In 2015, the French watch­dog said there was a ‘clear link’ be­tween the re­called im­plants and tu­mours.

An MHRA spokesman said: ‘We are part of the EU task force mon­i­tor­ing breast im­plant-as­so­ci­ated ALCL, which is aim­ing to get a Europe-wide pic­ture.’

A De­part­ment of Health spokesman said: ‘An in­de­pen­dent ad­vi­sory group has been set up and we have taken firm steps to im­prove cos­metic surgery safety.’

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