| 15.8°C Dublin

8,000 women who received particular breast implant to be warned they are at risk of cancer


Stock image

Stock image

Getty Images/Westend61

Stock image

Around 8,000 women who received a particular form of breast implant are to be contacted and warned they are at risk of a rare form of cancer.

The women, who had the operations in public and private hospitals, will be written to and told the risk remains low and if the cancer, which affects the immune system, is diagnosed and treated early it has a very good recovery rate.

The women in Ireland may have received the implants for cosmetic reasons or breast reconstruction.

The HSE said it was asking women with breast implants and tissue expanders to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the rare form of cancer called breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). This condition is not a breast cancer, it is a cancer of the immune system.

The majority, though not all cases of BIA-ALCL have been diagnosed in patients with implants manufactured by Allergan with an implant surface called Biocell. This implant has not been used in Ireland since December 2018.

It has been diagnosed in a small number of people worldwide. No such case has yet been reported in Ireland.

Public and private hospitals in Ireland are identifying patients who have had implant surgery in their hospitals.

The implants in question are textured rather than smooth and were popular because they were less likely to move around in the breast.

The HSE is also advising women who have had implants in other private clinics and facilities in Ireland or overseas to contact their surgeon if they have questions.

Common symptoms include swelling in the area of the implant, new unevenness between the size of breast and discomfort. Less common symptoms include pain, a hard lump beside or near the implant or lumps in the armpit on the same side.

"If you have symptoms such as pain, swelling or lumps in your breast contact your hospital surgeon so that your symptoms can be assessed," it said.

Irish Independent