Behind the headline: Breast implants linked to a type of lymphoma

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) can be associated with breast implants, but it is extremely rare. If you have any issues with a breast implant, you should seek advice from a health professional.

Breast implant - Alamy Stock Photo

You may have seen covered in the news recently that some breast implants have been linked to a rare type of lymphoma and that some UK women are taking legal action.

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) can be associated with breast implants, but this is extremely rare. This type of ALCL does not usually spread. It is often limited to the fluid or capsule that forms around the breast implant. If this is the case, the implant and the lymphoma will be removed by surgery and may not need any further treatment. People are followed-up carefully to make sure all the lymphoma has been removed. Although most cases are localised, in rare cases which have spread, additional treatment may be required such as chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy

Lymphoma Action supports any valid research into the link between breast implants and lymphoma. We will continue to monitor and report on developments and we strongly encourage all clinicians to report cases of breast implant related ALCL to the MHRA (in England and Wales), to NIAIC (in Northern Ireland) or to IRIC (in Scotland).

If you have breast implants, the MHRA advises that if you develop a collection of fluid, a breast lump or swelling around your implant more than a year after having the breast implant (regardless of how many years later), you should seek advice from a health professional. If you have any issue with a breast implant you should also report it via the Yellow Card Scheme so that it can be investigated further.

For further support and information regarding all types of lymphoma, our freephone helpline 0808 808 5555 is available 10am-3pm Monday to Friday and you can also email or use Live Chat in the bottom right of the screen to ask questions. 

Stock photograph from Alamy

20 August 2019