BAAPS Statement on ALCL (2015)
18 March 2015 (Last updated: 27 Mar 2019 13:29)
Despite reports of a link between an extremely rare form of cancer (anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, or ‘ALCL’) and textured breast implants, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (www.baaps.org.uk ); the only organisation based at the Royal College of Surgeons solely dedicated to the advancement and education of cosmetic surgery; today warns a risk of 1 in 100,000 should not cause undue alarm in patients.
The BAAPS has performed close to 80,000 breast augmentations (‘boob jobs’) in the last decade, with not one case of ALCL ever recorded in that period.
According to consultant plastic surgeon and former BAAPS President Fazel Fatah;
“It is important to remember that the number of breast implant patients globally is considered to be higher than 15 million, yet these tumours are extremely rare. The risk of death is only 1 in 2 million from it and cure available for 94% of sufferers, so women should continue to feel that their implants are safe. ALCL is normally slow to progress and not aggressive, with a good likelihood of recovery. BAAPS members have been made aware of this extremely rare association for a while and are vigilant to make sure the right steps are taken if the condition is suspected in a patient with breast implants. Women can be reassured of the very nature of the rare association and there is no need for concern unless they develop sudden unexplained changes or swelling - although this could be for a number of reasons not related to ALCL at all.”
According to consultant plastic surgeon and former President of the BAAPS Rajiv Grover;
“It is down to the surgeon to evaluate the most salient risks they need to warn a patient about, depending on individual circumstances such as age and other particulars - however all are, or should be, made aware that breast cancer in general occurs in one out of ten women; independently of whether they have implants or not. The risk of ALCL, which of course they should (and have a right to) be informed about as well, is infinitesimally small in comparison.
“At the BAAPS we wholeheartedly support fully informed consent – which means patients should be made aware of all risks and possible side effects of their procedure. A breast implant registry is one of the measures we have campaigned for over the past decade, as a large cohort of data would allow for scientific research over time , trend analysis and identifying issues. It is a shame this measure has not yet been actioned.”
The BAAPS (www.baaps.org.uk), based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is a not-for-profit organisation, established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Members undergo thorough background screening before they can join. Information about specific procedures and surgeons’ contact details can be found on the website, or by contacting their office at 020 7430 1840. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information. BAAPS is also on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BAAPSMedia and Facebook: www.facebook.com/BritishAssociationofAestheticPlasticSurgeons
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