Health Textured breast implants increase cancer risk

Textured breast implants increase cancer risk

Women with textured breast implants – used in 90 per cent of procedures – are at a significantly higher risk of developing breast implant-associated cancer than those with smooth implants, according to Macquarie University research.

Macquarie University’s Professor Anand Deva found that textured breast-implants are associated with breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

The risk of developing the cancer is as high as one in 3,800 implants.

“Between 2007 and 2016, of the 55 patients diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, all were exposed to textured implants,” said Professor Deva.

“What’s frightening is that in Australia, there has been a shift away from smooth implants and now 90 per cent of implants used in Australia are textured.”

He said that the development of the cancer was linked to the growth of bacteria on the surface of breast implants. Textured implants, which have a higher surface area, carry a significantly higher risk.

“Textured implants offer a perfect hiding place for bacteria. As well as this, we have found implants with a higher surface area grow bacteria quicker,” said Professor Deva.

“The best way to prevent bacterial attaching onto implants is through proven surgical strategies and preventing bacterial contamination at the time the implant is placed in surgery.”

The research has also sparked serious concerns about a potential increase in cases of BIA-ALCL in Australia and New Zealand.

“Projections of implant sales show a significant increase in the number of textured implants being used in the past five years. As the average time to development of this disease is eight years, we are concerned the number of cases could rise exponentially,” said Professor Deva.

“We strongly recommend that women in Australia and New Zealand ensure they get their breast implants checked regularly and seek medical attention if they are concerned about any change in size, shape or symptoms associated with their breasts following surgery.

“We are working with government, industry and regulatory authorities to make sure there is an adequate monitoring system in place and that both women and doctors are well informed.”

Read more about the findings of this important study here. Story credit: Macquarie University newsroom.

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