(Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma)
BIA-ALCL is a relatively new and very unusual medical condition, but one that is important for all patients with breast implants to know about. It is believed to be caused by the texturing on breast implants in some cases creates a chronic inflammatory process inside the chest cavity. This can in turn lead to a gene mutation in the area with possible cancer as a result. The cancer cells are located in the capsule around the implant and are not aggressive. In other words, it rarely spreads to other parts of the body, as long as the capsule is removed. The main symptom is that your breast suddenly swells up, long after the surgery. If this happens, consult your plastic surgeon. The swelling is caused by fluid accumulation in the breast, a so-called seroma. This occurs on average 9-10 years after surgery, in these cases.
It is important to understand that this is not a case of breast cancer, but a cancer of the immune system.
What does it mean if I have BIA-ALCL?
Should you be diagnosed with ALCL BIA, you most likely need to undergo a surgery to remove the capsule around the implant, which will also remove the cancer.
How common is BIA-ALCL?
The disease is as mentioned very rare, and exist today in 1 of over 50 000 patients with implants, according to available data.