At POLYTECH, we are committed to providing patients with comprehensive and clear information. Comprehensive information and education are essential also in early detection of symptoms, which in turn can lead to early treatment and positive prognosis.
As with any surgical procedure, risks are also involved with breast augmentation or reconstruction, and complications may occur. These can include the risks of anaesthesia, asymmetry, implant dislocation, increased scarring, sensory disturbances, capsular contracture, infection, seroma, loss of shell integrity. These complications may result in the need for re-operation, or implant removal with or without replacement. You should always discuss the possible risks and outcomes of implant insertion with your physician prior to breast surgery. Surgeons have a duty to illustrate the risks of breast surgery and answer to your questions.
Do breast implants influence the frequency of breast cancer occurrence?
In extensive studies published to date, it was evaluated that women with breast implants are not subject to a higher risk of breast cancer than women without implants.1-5
Reports from regulatory agencies and medical literaturehave shown an association between breast implants and the development of ALCL, resulting in the term BIA-ALCL or Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. This means that women with breast implants may have a small increased risk in developing ALCL. There are several different estimates of the risk of developing BIA-ALCL.
The vast majority of cases in literature concern patients with history of use of textured implants.
ALCL is currently classified as a form of non-Hodgkin‘s lymphoma (NHL) - a cancer of the immune system. It typically presents as a late seroma – the accumulation of liquid within the capsule –but it may also occur with the formation of a mass. The symptoms may occur well after the surgical incision has healed, often years after implant placement, but there are known cases with a shorter time of occurrence.
ALCL is a rare but serious type of cancer. There are documented cases of death due to the spreading of the disease out of the capsule. When detected early and timely treated, this disease has a positive prognosis. In most patients, it is treated successfully with surgery to remove the implant and surrounding scar tissue, but for some patients chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be necessary.
It is very important that you continue to attend regular check-ups and perform self-examination. If symptoms such as swelling, pain or a lump in the implant region occur, you should immediately inform your doctor. If you have breast implants and have no symptoms, you do not need to do anything, but you should continue to routinely monitor your breast implants and follow your routine medical care. Removing the implants is not recommended in women with no symptoms without a confirmed diagnosis of BIA-ALCL.