Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Breast Implants Are Linked to Rare but Treatable Cancer, F.D.A. Finds/ NY Times

Autoimmune disorders encompass a large variety of illnesses, the fourth-largest general category of disease, it is said.  A rare lymphoma, or neoplastic disease of the immune system, has been associated with breast implants.  This article does not say the disease is autoimmune, and the mechanism by which the implant may lead to the disease is unspecified. 

But the likeliest causes imho are a) physical, i.e., the normal tissue was disrupted and this led to neoplasia; b) toxic (a result of the plastic material--silicone--intimately exposed 24/7 to human tissues) and c) autoimmune.  These causes may be linked, or more than one may be involved in disease causality.  Other autoimmune conditions have been identified with breast implants, but the nature of the beast is such that this has never been proven nor disproved.
The worldwide market for breast implants is roughly $820 million a year and growing at 8 percent a year, according to industry figures.

But in the NY Times' current case, statistically, breast implants are strongly linked to a rare lymphoma:
Breast implants may cause a small but significant increase in the risk of an extremely rare but treatable type of cancer, the Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday.
The risk applies to both saline- and silicone-filled implants, and to all women who have them, whether for reconstruction after cancer surgery or for cosmetic enlargement of the breasts.
The cancer, anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, involves the immune system. It is not breast cancer. It is usually a systemic disease, but in the cases linked to implants, the lymphoma grew in the breast, usually in the capsule of scar tissue that formed around the implant...

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