About Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

We would like to respond to the recent media coverage on breast implant related cancer.  Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It has recently been shown to occur at a slightly higher rate among women with textured breast implants than women in the general population.

The vast majority of breast implants used in Canada are non-textured. According to Health Canada the risk of developing this condition is 0.003% per implant used. Even though this risk is very low, it is still higher than in women who have not undergone breast augmentation with implants. Our understanding from Health Canada is that there have been twenty-eight cases reported in Canada at this point, with no deaths. It is important to note that there has been no recommendation made by Health Canada at this point to stop using these devices, and no recommendation that they should be removed.  Last week, the FDA held meetings to discuss the benefits and risks associated with textured breast implants.  The FDA panel did not recommend any immediate restrictions on breast implants after reviewing the latest research on the risks of the device. 

In general, the cases of ALCL seen in women who have textured breast implants tend to occur on average 8-10 years following surgery. These cases often present with fluid and swelling around the implant. It is important to note that if you develop any symptoms like this that you should be assessed by a plastic surgeon. Also, if you have any questions regarding this issue please do not hesitate to contact our office so we can arrange to have you come in for a consultation with our doctors.   While we agree that there is minimal risk in patients with textured breast implants we do want to reassure our patients and perspective patients that there are options such as implant exchange or explanting your current implants and fat grafting. 

Give the office a call at 613-591-1099 and we will organize a consultation for you.