Cancer warning for thousands of women
Health authorities have issued an urgent warning for thousands of women who have had breast implants after a link was found to a rare cancer.
Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) has been detected in a small number of women who have undergone breast reconstruction procedures, with the cases developing between three and 14 years following the surgery.
The cancer cells usually grow in the fluid and scar tissue that develop around the implant.
Safer Care Victoria has issued a public safety notice, urging women who have undergone the procedure to look out for swelling, caused by fluid around the implant, as well as pain, rashes or lumps.
"Please speak to your GP immediately if you notice a chance, as this cancer is highly curable if diagnosed and treated early," Safer Care Victoria said in a statement.
"If you don't have symptoms, there is no need to remove your implants. Removal of implants, as well as the use of anaesthetics, come with a surgical risk."
Experts say the risk of BIA-ALCL depends on the type of implant, and is estimated to be between one in 1000 and one in 10,000.
On average, between 5000 and 6000 breast implant or reconstruction procedures are undertaken in Victoria each year, while the Therapeutic Goods Administration is aware of 76 cases of BIA-ALCL nationally.
Sixteen cases were from Victoria.
Originally published as Cancer warning for thousands of women