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Global recall issued for breast implants linked to rare cancer

Women in Louisiana and elsewhere around the country are advised to be aware of the possible risks associated with textured breast implants. This comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asked the manufacturer of Biocell textured breast implants and tissue expanders to issue a voluntary recall. The reason is because of a link to a rare form of cancer.

The textured breast implants being recalled are less common in the United States than in other countries. In fact, they represent less than 5% of all breast implants sold in the U.S. Even so, the FDA believes that "hundreds of thousands" of women may have these implants. In 2011, the FDA reported a link between certain breast implants and a rare cancer known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL.

The FDA is only recommending that women with the recalled implants consider removal if they have symptoms of BIA-ALCL. Symptoms associated with this rare form of cancer include pain or swelling in the area where the implants are located. These symptoms may appear about a year after the implants were inserted. There have been nearly 600 reported instances of this type of cancer worldwide and 33 deaths. The FDA is also considering changing labeling requirements for breast implants to include a clear indication of possible health risks. While many women have no issues with implants, about 20% of implant patients have them removed due to complications.

When a product recall like this occurs, an affected individual may contact a product liability attorney to discuss legal options. In some situations, a lawyer may look at available product information to determine if the manufacturer may have been aware of certain risks before a recall was issued. Someone negatively affected by a recalled product may be entitled to compensation for medical costs and related expenses.

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