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France Bans Breast Implants Linked to Rare Cancer

In Health, World
April 09, 2019

France has become the first country to ban a type of breast implant that has been linked to a rare form of cancer that attacks the immune system, the media reported on Friday.

The ban covers several models of the implants with a textured surface, which are produced by six manufacturers, the BBC reported. Those implants have been linked to a type of cancer that attacks the immune system. The National Agency for Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) said in a statement that the ban was a “precautionary measure” taken in light of the “rare but serious danger” posed by the implants.

According to the report, some 70,000 women are believed to have received these implants, out of an estimated 400,000 women who have had breast implants in France. It said it had recorded 59 cases of the cancer among French implant wearers, of whom three had died.

“The more the implant is textured and rough the greater the risk of BIA-ALCL (anaplastic large-cell lymphoma),” the ANSM said, adding it had noted a “significant increase in cases of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma linked to the wearing of breast implants since 2011”.

The ANSM, however, did not recommend that the women who had received the implants undergo surgery to have them removed, because of the “rarity of the risk”, the report said. Canada also said on Thursday it aimed to suspend the same type of implant as a “precautionary measure” following a safety review triggered by an increase in cases of BIA-ALCL.

Jean-Claude Mas, the founder of Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) French company, that was found to have used sub-standard silicone gel in its implants died on Thursday. PIP created a popular brand of implant that was filled with a cheap industrial-grade silicone gel, rather than medical-grade silicone, resulting in implants rupturing. It exported 80 per cent of its implants before the firm was shut down.

The scandal affected about 300,000 women in 65 countries, including France, the UK, Germany, Venezuela and Brazil.