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FDA Warns Breast Implants are linked to some cancers

Channel 12 News in Arizona catches up with GPAC's Robyn Towt to discuss the recent FDA Alert that breast implants are associated with various cancers, including BIA-ALCL (Breast Implant Associated Large Cell Lymphoma), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and other lymphomas. This news is not recent... unfortunately, it has taken the FDA over a decade to announce the information. Studies dating back to the early 2000's show these cancers that develop in the breast implant scar capsule.

To say that something is "rare" is really not a true statement, because we don't know what we don't know", says Towt. A recent article in Surgical Times Magazine highlights new research from Columbia University, stating that U.S. cases of cancer linked to breast implants may be well more than DOUBLE what the FDA previously estimated.

Adding to the magnitude of this emerging problem, The Aesthetic Society of plastic surgeons recently sent a joint presidential advisory alert to all of their society members stating "the new ASERF study now confirms that en bloc capsulectomies for Bii patients provide symptom relief no better than total or partial capsulectomies." The statement then warns members to "only practice based upon a scientific basis", adding a link to the Aesthetic Society Code of Ethics, essentially warning that removal of breast implant capsules is not warranted and surgeons should not perform "en bloc" capsule removal because it doesn't align with what the ASERF study confirms. This memo states that surgeons are "expected" to follow these guidelines of what this one small study shows. Yet, just weeks later, the FDA announces that MORE CANCERS develop in the scar tissue capsule surrounding breast implants. Question to ponder... if we know that multiple cancers develop in the breast implant scar capsule, why is the Aesthetic Society pushing so hard to demand that surgeons do not remove those cancer causing capsules? Important to note, the surgeons involved in the study have strong financial ties to breast implant manufacturers, a blatant conflict of interest. The patient community has grave concerns that this study is misleading the plastic surgery community and perhaps they do not want capsules removed because they may find more cases of cancer. More research is needed and removing and testing capsules will give us the answers that we have been seeking. We are anxiously waiting to see a statement from ASERF and the Aesthetic Society on why they would not want more information about capsules that develop multiple cancers and why these cancer causing capsules should be left in the body. More to come, stay tuned!

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