The FDA released a statement January 26, 2011, describing the link between ALCL (Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma) of the breast and women with breast implants. Please look carefully at the information provided. Approximately 3 in 100 million women per year in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALCL in the breast. This is a minute number. It can occur with or without breast implants. It can occur with saline or silicone gel implants. It is not breast cancer. Early reports are that it can be cured by removing the scar capsule around the implant once it is diagnosed.
The FDA recommends that women with breast implants continue to be monitored by their doctors, but does not recommend implant removal because the risk of ALCL is “extremely low” (about .00000003%). Please do not panic from this report. After twenty-nine years experience with silicone gel implants, and having trained at Baylor University where they were invented, I have confidence in these devices and feel they are safe. They were exhaustively studied by the FDA between 1992 and 2006, and silicone gel implants were reapproved for cosmetic breast augmentation in 2006. Saline breast implants were available during that time period, and are still available today. I recommend that you watch the news and press releases on this topic and read them carefully. Bear in mind that some in the media may sensationalize this finding, and perhaps overstate the risk, which can create unnecessary concern in women who have breast implants. You are at greater risk of being struck by lightning than developing ALCL of the breast. Be calm. And call with questions or concerns.