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Breast implants and 'possible link' to rare cancer -- surgeon associations respond

January 28, 2011|By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
(Donna McWilliam / Associated…)

You've no doubt heard about the Food and Drug Administration’s investigation of the "possible association" between breast implants and a rare form of cancer known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or ALCL. And you've heard the media reaction (and possibly concerned friends or relatives or coworkers or...) Now let's hear from the folks who implant those implants.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery had this to say in a statement released Friday. "Due to the extremely low incidence and some conflicting evidence, the FDA is recommending routine medical care and follow-up for women with breast implants. [The organization] agrees with the FDA recommendations and hopes that this report does not produce undue panic from the millions of women who have breast implants. Many ongoing studies will eventually find a more definitive conclusion…" 

RELATED: What is anaplastic large cell lymphoma?

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons said it's forming a breast implant registry in collaboration with the FDA. It also says on its website: "The ASPS and the FDA agree this extremely rare form of lymphoma is not breast cancer. Of the estimated 10 million implants worldwide, only 34 cases of ALCL have been identified since 1989. While lymphomas can appear anywhere in the body, this condition appears in the scar tissue that forms around the breast implants. At this time, both the FDA and ASPS remain confident that breast implants are safe and effective."

And the FDA has a Web page keeping women with implants up to date.

Perhaps all that's left are the results of an actual investigation.

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