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Breast Implant Lawsuit

There are numerous reports of women who have had breast implants developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare form of cancer. In March 2017, the FDA released a warning about the possible link between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma1.

Several lawsuits have already been filed in 2018 for women who have been diagnosed with this rare cancer which are allegedly a result of their breast implants. Breast implant manufacturers that are involved in these recent lawsuits include Allergan plc and Mentor Worldwide LLC. Unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness on this issue, and the public is at a health crisis. The medical community has failed to offer any kind of practical assistance to help women link their cancer symptoms to their breast implants. Many women have had misdiagnoses, unnecessary medications, expensive treatments, and removal of body parts (thyroid, uterus, gallbladder).

Breast implant lawsuits began in the 1980s and continue to this day. Breast implant manufacturers such as Allergan must be held accountable for their destructive medical devices. These companies owe compensation to the women whose anaplastic large cell lymphoma can be linked to their breast implants. There are over 50,000 women in breast plant illness Facebook support groups who are seeking help, and the professional lawyers at KBA Attorneys can help. Our experienced team of attorneys will work to hold the alleged companies accountable for their lack of information and toxicity caused by their breast implants.


FDA Warnings of Breast Implants and Cancer

The FDA released a report on all of their Agency’s findings on the association between anaplastic large cell lymphoma and breast implants. This report is a summarization of the FDA’s research and scientific data used to assess the association. The agency is labeling this health issue as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL.

According to the FDA’s reports, women with breast implants have a small but increased risk of developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma. The exact number of cases of BIA-ALCL is almost impossible to determine due to limited worldwide reporting. Back in February 2017, the FDA said to have received a total of 359 reports of cancer linked to breast implants, including nine deaths2.

It was found that women who use textured breast implants, which has a bumpy surfaced have a higher risk of BIA-ALCL than women who use smooth breast implants. Out of the 359 reported cases, the FDA discovered that only 28 women were using smooth implants and 203 women were using textured implants. In 312 BIA-ALCL cases, 186 of the implants contained silicone gel, and 126 of the implants contained saline(salt water solution)2.


History of Breast Implant Lawsuits

Lawsuits concerning breast implants and health issues such as cancer date back to the 1980s. In the first significant breast implant lawsuit, Maria Stern won $1.5 million in punitive damages and $211,000 in compensatory damages from breast implant manufacturing company Dow Corning3.

By the end of the 1990s, a class action settlement of $4 billion was paid to 450,000 women who suffered health complications from silicone breast implants. The FDA eventually banned silicone breast implants in 1992 due to the health concerns of women. Then in 2006 the FDA, under pressure by the industry, lifted the ban3. Breast implant manufacturers, Allergan and Mentor Worldwide, received approval from the FDA to sell their implants but were required to conduct 6 post-approval studies to follow up on the safety of their silicone implants. These 6 studies essentially ended up failing to follow up with women and could not provide any useful data on health issues. Breast Implant lawsuits today are a repetition of history with manufacturers not performing the correct and complete tests before putting their medical devices on the market.


Update: Allergan Breast Implants Recalled

After a French regulatory agency addressed Allergan’s loss of its CE Mark health-and-safety certification, the manufacturer removed its textured breast implants from the European market. The smooth breast implants will still be sold4.

Allergan’s textured breast implants will still be offered in the United States even after the FDA’s warning about textured breast implants posing a higher risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma than smooth breast implants. As of September 30, 2017, the FDA has reported 414 cases of cancer-related breast implants. 242 of the reports included information on women having textured breast implants.


Risks of Breast Implants

A person should know of all the potential risks and side effects that breast implants may cause. After the surgery, there is recovery time and the usual symptoms of breast implant surgery such as5:

  • Temporary pain and swelling
  • Tightness in the chest

The FDA provides a detailed list of breast implant complications. This list of more serious health complications and adverse effects of breast implants includes6:

  • Breast pain
  • Additional surgeries
  • Capsular contracture
  • Implant rupture with deflation
  • Silent implant rupture

Health Issues with Textured Breast Implants

According to a study published in the medical journal JAMA Oncology, researchers found that textured breast implants cause women to have a 400 times greater chance of developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Recent studies have also found that textured breast implants can cause the following symptoms7:

  • Swelling in the groin, neck, or armpit
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Breast pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

Health Issues with Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone breast implants are composed of a silicone shell which is filled with silicone gel. According to a study published by Annals of Surgery, researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that silicone breast implants could be linked to causing health complications such as autoimmune disorders, melanoma, and stillbirth.

Another potential problem with silicone breast implants is leaking. Silicone gel breast implant ruptures may cause these symptoms:

  • Tissue inflammation
  • Lump development in the chest
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Immune system disorders

More severe problems associated with silicone breast implants and silicone gel leaking include:

  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic Sclerosis
  • Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

What is Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma?

Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) is not considered breast cancer even though it is most associated with having breast implants. This rare form of cancer is actually a type of blood cancer. More specifically, it is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and one of the subtypes of T cell lymphoma. To diagnose ALCL, first, a patient must have a biopsy, or a small sample of the tumor tissue, taken to be examined under a microscope.

Researchers are still trying to determine the leading causes of ALCL; however, the lawsuits filed against breast implant manufacturers have provided more information on the possible link between the two. The first sign of ALCL is usually swelling of the groin, neck, or armpit. This is painless swelling and is caused by the lymphoma cells collecting in the lymph nodes and increasing their size. Some symptoms of ALCL include the following8:

  • Weight Loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Night Sweats

Should You File a Breast Implant Lawsuit?

Anyone who has been diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma and has or have had textured breast implants or silicone breast implants should contact KBA Attorneys for assistance in getting compensation for damages. The manufacturers of these harmful breast implants need to be held accountable, and our professional attorneys are here to help. Textured and silicone breast implants are linked to life-threatening side effects so let us help you find justice.

Do not hesitate to Call KBA Attorneys now. If you suspect that your symptoms of breast pain, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, or any other breast implant-related symptom was caused by your breast implants, then you can get a free case evaluation from the experienced lawyers at KBA Attorneys.

References
  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)", U.S. Food and Drug Administration, https://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/productsandmedicalprocedures/implantsandprosthetics/breastimplants/ucm239995.htm. Accessed Janaury 3rd, 2019.
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) In Women with Breast Implants: Preliminary FDA Findings and Analyses", U.S. Food and Drug Administration, http://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20171115053750/https:/www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/BreastImplants/ucm239996.htm. Accessed Janaury 3rd, 2019.
  3. Kristin E. Schleiter, JD, LLM. " Silicone Breast Implant Litigation", AMA Journal of Ethics, https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/silicone-breast-implant-litigation/2010-05. Accessed Janaury 3rd, 2019.
  4. WebMD. "Breast Implant Safety", WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/beauty/breast-implant-safety#1. Accessed Janaury 3rd, 2019.
  5. Nathan Bomey. "Breast implants recalled: Allergan ends sales of 'textured' implants in Europe", USA TODAY, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/12/19/allergan-textured-breast-implant-recall/2360954002/. Accessed Janaury 3rd, 2019.
  6. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Risks of Breast Implants", U.S. Food and Drug Administration, https://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/productsandmedicalprocedures/implantsandprosthetics/breastimplants/ucm064106.htm. Accessed Janaury 3rd, 2019.
  7. Breastcancer.org. "FDA Updates Warning on Link Between Textured Breast Implants and Rare Cancer", Breastcancer.org, https://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/fda-updates-on-textured-implants-and-cancer. Accessed Janaury 3rd, 2019.
  8. WebMD. "Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma", WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/cancer/lymphoma/anaplastic-large-cell-lymphoma#1. Accessed Janaury 3rd, 2019.