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)
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.
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