Breast Implant Lymphoma Lawyers Reviewing Cases Nationwide
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has been linked to certain types of breast implants. The lymphoma is a form of blood cancer where some white blood cells, known as lymphocytes, grow out of control.
In recent years, a number of textured breast implant recalls have been issued and women have been warned about the increased risk of ALCL. This has resulted in questions about why the manufacturers failed to properly inform women and doctors that their breast implants may increase the risk of cancer, and the importance of immediately removing the breast implants if cancer is diagnosed.
Symptoms of ALCL from breast implants may surface anywhere from 2 years to over 30 years after breast augmentation or reconstructive breast surgery following a mastectomy, causing:
- Pain, Fever, Backache or Fatigue
- Lumps in the Breast or Armpits
- Swelling around the Breast Implants
- Asymmetry after Surgical Incision has Healed
The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential breast implant anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) lawsuits for women throughout the United States. To learn more about these cases and find out whether financial compensation may be available for you or a loved one.
BIA-ALCL: Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
The first case of breast implant lymphoma was detected in 1997, but a growing number of women have been diagnosed in recent years, as the medical community continues to recognize the potential link between textured breast implants and cancer.
BIA-ALCL is considered a form of T-cell lymphoma, which is a sub-type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It develops in the fluid surrounding a breast implant, and is typically diagnosed by testing for a substance called CD-30, which indicates lymphoma.
The FDA first warned about the link between breast implants and lymphoma side effects in 2011, indicating at the time that the agency was aware of 60 unique cases of ALCL among women with breast implants. However, since most doctors were unaware of the risk, many breast implant ALCL cases were never reported.
Manufacturers buried warnings about the lymphoma risk with breast implants amid a long list of potential complications and little work was done to examine the cause or provide women and medical providers with important warnings that may have helped avoid the cancer or serious side effects of the disease.
The World Health Organization provided an official designation for breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma in 2016, following a number of independent studies and reports.
In March 2017, the FDA announced that it agrees with this designation, and indicated that the agency had received 359 medical device reports involving breast implant ALCL cases as of February 1, 2017.
In Australia, after that country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) began specifically monitoring for BIA-ALCL diagnosis, the number of cases began to sharply increase during the first half of 2017. That agency estimated that between 1-in-1,000 and 1-in-10,000 women with breast implants may develop ALCL.
In July 2019, the FDA announced that a worldwide Allergan breast implant recall would be issued for all Biocell textured implants, indicating that:
- 573 cases of breast implant-associated ALCL have been reported worldwide;
- 481 of those cases (84%) involve Allergan Biocell breast implant designs;
- 33 breast implant ALCL deaths have been identified;
- 12 of the 14 deaths where the manufacturer was known involved Allergan breast implants.
Breast Implant Lymphoma Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Symptoms of lymphoma from a breast implant may first appear as pain or a lump in the breast or armpit. This typically occurs after the surgical incision has fully healed, with most cases diagnosed 8 to 10 years following breast surgery.
While the exact cause of BIA-ALCL is continuing to be investigated, a growing number of experts believe that textured breast implants sold by several different manufacturers in recent years may be a major factor. As opposed to smooth breast implants, textured implants are designed to encourage tissue to grow into the rough surface and help anchor the implant in place.
Problems with the design of textured breast implants may allow bacteria to form a coating or bio film on the implant, causing inflammation. The rough surface may also be irritating or abrasive, causing immune system reactions, which may lead to lymphoma in the fluid around the breast implant.
To diagnose breast implant ALCL, doctors typically drain the breast implant fluid and test it for CD30, which is also known as TNFRSF8, a cell membrane protein of the tumor necrosis factor receptor family and a tumor marker associated with anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Unfortunately, failure to warn about the link between breast implants and ALCL may have caused many doctors to delay diagnosing this lymphoma, or promptly removing the implants, which is the first BIA-ALCL treatment now recommended.
The vast majority of cases involving the breast implant lymphoma can be cured by removing the breast implant and the entire capsule of scar tissue around it. In about 85% of cases, this process successfully treats the breast implant cancer. However, if a diagnosis or treatment is delayed, women may require chemotherapy or radiation treatments, and face a risk of death.
Due to the manufacturers failure to warn that breast implants may be causing the lymphoma, many women have reported undergoing extensive treatment while the breast implants remained in place.
Breast Implant Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma Lawyers
According to a report published by the New York Times in May 2017, Allergan and other manufacturers now acknowledge that certain products sold in recent years may be linked to ALCL, and acknowledge that they are studying the response to their texture breast implants.
The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential lawsuits for women and family nationwide, as it appears the manufacturer could have provided earlier and stronger warnings about the lymphoma risk. In addition, many women may have avoided a serious lymphoma diagnosis if breast implant recalls had been issued by the manufacturers.
All breast implant ALCL lawsuits are being pursued by our attorneys under a contingency fee agreement, which means that there are no out-of-pocket expenses to hire a lawyer or determine whether you or a loved one may be entitled to financial compensation. Attorney fees and expenses are only paid out of any recovery obtained, and there is no cost if you do not win a settlement or verdict.