The dangers associated with breast implants are resurfacing as the Federal Drug Administration reported nine deaths from a rare cancer linked to implants. On Tuesday, the agency announced that since February 1, 2017, they’ve received 359 reports of a rare type of cancer called Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma linked to the implants. The cancer is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that can appear in the lymph nodes or organs. Early symptoms include fever, backache, swelling of lymph nodes, decreased appetite, and tiredness.

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The FDA found the cancer was more prevalent in those who had textured implants, with 203 cases, versus 28 cases found in smooth implants. The remaining 128 cases were undetermined. Both saline and silicone gel-filled implants were associated with the cancer. The organization states that more research is needed as they aren’t sure why textured implants seem to create more of a risk. According to Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Dennis Dass, M.D., textured implants are sometimes used to prevent a complication known as capsular contraction, which results in scar tissue forming around the implant.

Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, as the FDA is calling it, is not breast cancer but is found near the implant within the fibrous scar capsule - not the actual breast. Telltale signs are usually persistent swelling or pain near the implant. Symptoms can occur many years after the initial surgery.

Breast augmentation safety was recently called into question by Playboy model Karen McDougal who spoke to the media last month about her health problems, which she attributed to the implants. Messages boards and communities of women complaining of autoimmune diseases triggered by breast implants can be found online, though no study has soundly proven this to be true.

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Every year, about 300,000 women receive breast augmentation surgery. The rate of Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma is low at about 1 in 300,000 women.

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