First, the government issued a warning about breast implants and the risk of cancer. Now, over 200 women who have had Allergan implants are considering taking legal action.
The women involved say that they were not properly informed about the cancer risk associated when they decided to use Allergan implants, according to The Guardian. Six of the women have been diagnosed with ALCL, a rare form of non hodgkin lymphoma, or cancer of the blood, that has been linked to Allergan as well as other textured implants.Read More
Three of the women, according to The Guardian, were given these implants after preventative mastectomies, meaning they didn’t have breast cancer, but got mastectomies because of their genetic risk factor. Now, some of those patients fear they are at a higher risk for a different kind of cancer.
Others say they were not warned about the link with ALCL, according to The Guardian, even though the UK regulator along with the FDA first alerted doctors to the risk in 2011. "Many of [them] are extremely angry that in choosing to have a procedure intended to improve self-esteem and wellbeing they have been exposed to the risk of developing a potentially life-threatening, and entirely avoidable, type of cancer," Sarah Moore, a solicitor at the law firm Leigh Day who is investigating a potential group claim for the women, told The Guardian.
According to Moore, a lot of the women have genetic factors that increase their cancer risk. "Many of these women have familial histories of cancer and so were hyper-alert to information relating to cancer risk, no matter how rare," she told The Guardian.
Others in the group have suffered different complications, such as capsular contracture, where breast tissue hardens around the implant. Capsular contracture is a condition which can develop after breast implants, whereby the scar tissue that forms around the implant (the capsule) after it is placed tightens up, which can cause the breasts to feel hard. In worse cases, it can be painful or distort the breast by pulling on the implant.
Allergan said in a statement that it is committed to strict adherence to all regulatory requirements and rigorous scientific evidence, according to The Guardian, and "Patient safety and product quality are Allergan's highest priorities. Allergan continues to stand firmly behind the benefit/risk profile of its breast implant products, including textured breast implants. The benefit risk profile of textured implants based on scientific evidence remains positive."