rare cancer

A small study from the Netherlands published in JAMA Oncology raises concerns about a connection between breast implants and a rare cancer, anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (de Boer et al, JAMA Oncology, online January 4, 2018).

How Did Scientists Find This Link?

Investigators combed through data from the Dutch cancer registry. They found 43 cases of women with anaplastic large-cell lymphoma in their breasts. A surprisingly high proportion (32) of the women had had breast implants, suggesting a strong association.

Under normal circumstances, older men are more commonly affected by this aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This rare cancer shows up elsewhere in the body, not primarily in the breast. In recent years, however, there has been an increase in the number of women affected by this unusual type of lymphoma.

How Often Does This Rare Cancer Occur?

This type of cancer is so uncommon that the absolute risk remains extremely low. The scientists estimate about 29 cases per million women with implants at age 50. Nevertheless, the relative risk is very high: 421 times the risk for women without implants.

Macrotextured implants seemed riskier than smooth-shelled implants. In summary, this research should not cause alarm, but it does raise concerns about the long-term safety of breast implants.

The researchers conclude:

Our results emphasize the need for increased awareness among the public, medical professionals, and regulatory bodies, promotion of alternative cosmetic procedures, and alertness to signs and symptoms of breast-ALCL in women with implants.”

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Sheri

    OK. So what are a woman’s choice after breast cancer and mastectomy ?? Dr’s push reconstruction with implants. As a 52 year old breast cancer patient, it thought of going without one breast was not acceptable. Now, 7 years after the fact, I need to worry about that decision??

  2. Damita

    Sure, let’s feed the cancer industry! Stop it!

  3. Kathleen
    Greenville NC

    Should women with implants get some type of mammogram?

    • Dal55

      Women who have implants should get mammogram. I have implants because of breast cancer resulting in one breast removed and the other breast having an implant to achieve symmetry. I get a Mammogram every year. I would also recommend getting a 3D mammogram is available.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.