The Food and Drug Administration found a concerning link between breast implants and a rare form of cancer that affects the surrounding lymph nodes. In a press release shared on March 22, the FDA said a total of nine people have died as a result of this strain triggered by implants.
The particular cancer is called anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or ALCL. According to the report, women with implants had an increased risk of developing the disease. In addition, textured implants present an even greater risk than implants with smooth surfaces. It is important to note that despite the connection to breast implants, ALCL is not a type of breast cancer as it affects the lymph nodes.
Why exactly do implants increase the risk? The FDA doesn't appear to have a solid answer on that yet. It may have something to do with the materials used to make implants, but so far any research into that has been inconclusive.
If you do have implants, no need to panic: ALCL can be effectively treated if it's detected early on. The FDA is now instructing women with implants to simply educate themselves on the risk. Again, ALCL is still extremely rare but being alert on any changes that may occur in your body is a good habit to form regardless.