Explant Secrets Blog With Cheyenne Burnett/Can My Breast Implants Give Me Cancer?

The topic of breast implants causing cancer is attracting a LOT of attention these days and many sources are still saying that there is no evidence to prove there is a connection. Let me be very clear, nothing could be further from the truth!

You have also likely seen reports that though the connection has been made between cancer and breast implants the chances of getting cancer from breast implants is still very rare. This is also NOT TRUE!

Many doctors do not report problems with medical devices, especially those in the private sector (which includes most plastic surgeons) so the cases reported to the FDA are considered to only be “the tip of the iceberg" and that "tip of the ice burg" contained enough evidence for the FDA (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to first publicly identified a possible connection between breast implants and the development of a cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL in 2011.


It's important to understand that BIA-ALCL not a form of breast cancer but instead is a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. In most cases, BIA-ALCL is found in the scar tissue (capsules) and fluid surrounding the implant, but we are seeing a rise in reported cases of it spreading throughout the body.

In the U.S. the real risk of BIA-ALCL is currently estimated to be between 1 in 559 and 1 in 355. That means there are enough reported cases to estimate that for every 355 implants placed one woman will contract this potentially deadly cancer.

I don't know about you but that certainly doesn't qualify as "rare" to me.

In 2016, the World Health Organization determined BIA-ALCL as a T-cell lymphoma that can develop following breast implants being placed and noted that the exact number of cases remained difficult to determine due to significant limitations in world-wide reporting and lack of global breast implant sales data. But with a dramatic increase in diagnoses of BIA-ALCL happening in recent years, the data now indicates that BIA-ALCL has been wildly under-diagnosed and under-reported for many, many years.

BIA-ALCL is not the only cancer connected to breast implants anymore either.
On September 8th, 2022 the FDS announced confirmation of new cancers found in breast implant scar tissue including additional lymphomas and now Squamous Cell Carcinoma which is an aggressive, epithelial-based tumor that appears to start inside the breast implant capsule.


These are not the same kind of cancers described in the original 2011 publications and linked to both smooth and textured implants containing both saline and silicone fillers just as BIA-ALCL is.

The most common symptoms of breast implant related cancers are:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Fever, night sweats
- Weight loss
- Persistent swelling of the breast
- A lump or mass near the implant
- Asymmetry of the breasts
- Tenderness or pain near the implant

These symptoms can start any time after your breast implant surgery but most often show up several years after the implants were placed. Please also understand that if you have already explanted (had your implants removed) you can still develop these cancers if any capsule tissue was left behind.

If your doctor suspects BIA-ALCL or one of the other breast implant related cancers I've mentioned the next step will likely be an ultrasound or MRI. If there’s excess fluid around the implant, they will likely ask that you allow them to use a fine needle and extract a sample for testing. If there’s a lump or mass, a tissue biopsy will be needed. These samples will be sent to a laboratory for testing and your doctor will report the findings to you once the receive the results.

I know this can be really scary...

So please understand that if you are experiencing these symptoms it does not necessarily mean you have cancer. I personal experienced most all of these same symptoms before I had my breast implants removed and thankfully I have not been diagnosed with any cancers.

If you are experiencing these symptoms or others associated with Breast Implant Illness CLICK HERE for more information on what you can do right now to begin to heal.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with any of the cancers I have mentioned above I would urge you to please report them to: MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting program.


FDA: Safety Alert for Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Various Lymphomas in Scar Tissue around Breast Implants

FDA: Medical Device Reports of Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

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I’m a Wife, Mother, Women’s Health Warrior, Breast Implant Illness Survivor, Author, Speaker, Coach, and the Host of my top-ranked Podcast, Explant Secrets With Cheyenne Burnett. Welcome to my little slice of the internet! Go ahead and kick those awesome shoes off and stay a while!

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