If you’re thinking about putting breast implants on your wish list this Christmas, you might want to think again. More than 30,000 French women have just been told by medical authorities that they received defective breast implants and must have them removed to avoid the possibility of breast cancer.
One of nations’ newspapers, the Liberation reported yesterday that authorities are asking all women who received silicone implants supplied by the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) company to have them removed after eight cases of cancer (mainly breast cancer) have been reported.
PIP was already sited once before and had its product banned last year after it was revealed to have been using non-authorized silicone gel that caused abnormally high rupture rates. Police have received 2,000 complaints from women who received the implants and have opened a criminal investigation case now.
This isn’t the first time that breast implants have been linked to cancer either. Earlier this year, the FDA stated that both saline and silicone breast implants can cause a small increase in anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Sixty cases had been reported where the cancer had grown in the breast around the scar tissue from the implants.
In addition, other research has shown that approximately three out of four breast cancer reconstruction patients and almost half of first-time augmentation patients experienced at least one implant-related complication during the first three years. This included infection, leakage, pain, hardening, arthritis, fatigue, memory loss, the need for additional surgery and even death. In addition, implants can make it harder to detect breast cancer, and some women have reportedly had their implants rupture from the pressure of a mammogram.
All of this is troubling and worrisome. Especially considering the fact that breast augmentation has more than tripled in the last decade. It’s understandable that women who have undergone a mastectomy for breast cancer would want their bodies restored to being whole again, and it’s understandable that some women feel like they will be more attractive with larger breasts, but at what cost? Risks like these will hopefully make the nearly 400,000 women each year think twice before undergoing the knife.