FDA Links Breast Implants to Rare Blood Cancer
Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that there may be an association breast implants and a rare type of blood cancer known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). While first indications of a possible link were discovered six years ago, FDA officials have recently determined that the association is quite strong, and that there may even be a causal link.
Tragically, thus far, at least nine American women have already died from ALCL after receiving breast implants. Research into this important issue is still being conducted, but the existing evidence raises serious concerns that some breast implants may be unreasonably dangerous and defective products, that should have never been on the market in the first place.
What We Know
The type of cancer in this case, anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), is extremely rare. For reference, statistics show that around 1 in 5 million women are likely to develop this disease in their lifetime. Even fewer women, around 1 in 33 million, will develop this form of cancer in their breasts. However, the FDA is currently investigating at least 359 cases that have been reported to the agency by women who have developed ALCL after receiving breast implants. This is a far higher percentage than would be expected if the occurrence were completely random. Indeed, as of right now, the FDA estimates that ALCL cases are occurring at as much as 65 times the normal rate in women who have had breast implants. This is a truly, startlingly, downright alarming figure. While both saline and silicone implants are affected by this issue, researchers do believe that there is a difference between ‘smooth’ implants and ‘textured’ implants. Around 90 percent of the ALCL cases involved women who have had the ‘textured’ implants.
Defective Products: Legal Action
If you or a loved one has developed ALCL after having breast implants, you should contact an experienced products liability attorney immediately. You have legal options, and your legal rights must be protected. As of April 2017, there is no active breast implant ALCL class action lawsuit that has been certified. However, individual claims are being filed in courts around the country. There are likely to be many more claims filed in the coming years.
Further, while the FDA has not yet issued a recall, the information they have released to the public is deeply concerning. And, a product recall is still a future possibility. The simple fact is that large corporations must be held fully accountable for any damages that their defective/unsafe products cause to innocent people. Companies should never put their profits before the safety of their consumers. This is especially important when dealing with products and devices in the medical industry.
Contact Our Tampa Office Today
At The Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group, our products liability attorneys have extensive experience handling claims involving defective medical industry products, including defective medical devices and dangerous drugs. If you or a loved one was hurt or killed by a dangerous medical product or pharmaceutical drug, please call us today at 813-242-4404 to schedule a free review of your case.