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FDA Panel: Too Early to Ban Breast Implant Linked With Cancer

Evidence growing that certain breast implants can trigger a rare form of lymphoma

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TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- It is too early to ban a type of breast implant recently linked to a rare form of cancer, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration expert panel advised Monday.

More information is needed to learn more about the issue, the panel said after spending a day reviewing evidence on the risks for breast implants, the Associated Press reported. The panel did not recommend any immediate restrictions on breast implants. Their safety has been a controversial topic for decades.

There is growing evidence that certain breast implants can trigger a rare form of lymphoma that grows in the scar tissue surrounding the breasts. The FDA has identified about 450 cases of the cancer worldwide, including 12 deaths, the AP reported. Nearly all those cases involved a type of textured implant meant to prevent slipping and to minimize scar tissue. Estimates of the frequency of the breast implant-related cancer range from one in 3,000 women to one in 30,000. The FDA said it has also received reports of the disease in smooth implants, which account for most of the U.S. market, the AP reported.

The same panel is expected to make recommendations on studying and defining the risks for long-term health problems that thousands of women have blamed on breast implants, including rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue and muscle pain, the AP reported.

AP News Article