Fast Facts About BIA-ALCL

This article is not intended to offer medical advice but to provide an overview of BIA-ALCL. I urge readers to refer to the FDA BIA-ALCL Q&A website for more detailed information and to seek medical advice if you have received a breast implant and are experiencing the symptoms of BIA-ALCL.

As the name indicates, breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a kind of cancer that appears to be associated with certain breast implants. Following are some fast facts about BIA-ALCL.

  • BIA-ALCL is a condition that is associated with breast implants, specifically, “near the breast implant, contained within the fibrous scar capsule, and not in the breast tissue itself” (see image below)
  • As of August 2019, FDA had requested that Allergan Voluntarily Recall Natrelle BIOCELL Textured Breast Implants and Tissue Expanders
  • BIA-ACLC is not breast cancer but “a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the immune system)”
  • The risk of BIA-ALCL is “considered to be low; however, this cancer is serious and can lead to death, especially if not treated promptly”
  • “The main symptoms of BIA-ALCL are persistent swelling, presence of a mass or pain in the area of the breast implant. These symptoms may occur well after the surgical incision has healed, often years after implant placement.”
  • As of October 2019 FDA was not recommending removal of the implants and tissue expanders, however, you should see your physician if you have received a breast implant and are experiencing any of the symptoms noted above so you can get appropriate and early care as required.

Best wishes for your health and wellness,


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