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Breast Implants and Cancer: Plastic Surgeons Weigh In

maj 25, 2017

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To the Editor:

Re “They Got Breast Implants, Then a Rare Cancer” (front page, May 15):

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has a singular focus on patient safety, and we appreciate your reporter’s shining a bright light on this rare lymphoma.

In 2011, the society began collaborating with the Food and Drug Administration to better understand breast-implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. We commissioned a RAND study that brought together government, plastic surgeons, epidemiologists, oncologists and others to evaluate the known data regarding the etiology of this disease.

The society, in partnership with the F.D.A., started a national registry called Profile in 2012 to collect information on patients with this cancer to determine best practices for diagnosis and treatment. The disease is so rare that data-gathering is a slow process.

We regularly communicate with our members in our publications, conferences and email and on regarding updates on this disease. We fund multiple research projects to further delineate this disease process.

Breast-implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma has been part of our informed-consent document for breast implants since 2012, and we continue to encourage members to frankly discuss this risk with patients.

In the interest of patient safety, we will continue our diligence with the F.D.A. regarding this disease.


The writer is president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.