Cancer link triggers breast implant recall

Allergan, a major breast implant manufacturer, issued a worldwide recall on its textured implants in light of recent studies tying the implants to a rare form of cancer. The July 24 recall came shortly after the FDA asked the company to take its textured implant devices off the shelves.

Recent studies by the FDA have corroborated the link between BIA-ALCL, a lymphatic cancer, and textured breast implants. Allergan, one of the leading breast implant manufacturers, already faces multiple lawsuits by victims of BIA-ALCL and their families.

Lymphoma risk verified amidst pending litigation

Breast-implanted associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma–or BIA-ALCL–is a rare form of cancer specifically found women with breast implants. Although the disease develops in the breast, it isn’t a form of breast cancer. Rather, it’s a cancer of the immune system’s lymphocyte cells. If not caught quickly enough, the cancer will spread to the lymph nodes.

The exact cause of BIA-ALCL, and its connection to textured breast implants, is currently under investigation. However, it is thought that the textured implant surfaces irritates internal tissue, causing scar tissue to form around the breast. The scar tissue then develops cancer cells, which attack the body’s lymphocytes.

Allergan continues to face multiple ongoing lawsuits from women diagnosed with BIA-ALCL. Numerous suits filed in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Montreal name Allergan as a defendant.

Allergan is also facing a class-action suit from its investors, who claim that the company concealed the link between its textured implants and BIA-ALCL. The complaint alleges that this link, and Allergan’s resulting market restrictions, irreparably damaged company stock prices.

BIA-ALCL incidents on the rise

In a recently updated table, the FDA reported 573 total cases–and 33 deaths–of BIA-ALCL globally. Compared to the table published just five months ago, these figures show a staggering increase of 116 additional BIA-ALCL cases and 24 deaths since February. It is not yet known whether this increase is due to more frequent diagnoses or an increase in overall cases.

The FDA determined the implant manufacturer in 13 out of the 33 fatal BIA-ALCL cases. The agency found that Allergan manufactured 12 of the 13 fatal breast implants.

Types of implants at risk

Although smooth implants are tied to a few BIA-ALCL cases, textured implants are the main culprit. The FDA’s research showed that only 5% of reported cases involved smooth implants, while 67% involved textured ones. In 28% of reported cases, the implant texture was unknown. In its recall request, the FDA specifically asked Allergan to recall only its textured implant devices.

According to the FDA’s research, the implant’s filling has no bearing on the likelihood of lymphoma development. At present, however, more BIA-ALCL cases are tied to silicone implants, as opposed to saline.

Luckily, textured implants make up only about 5% of the implants sold in the United States. The FDA stated that women with textured implants who do not have any BIA-ALCL symptoms should not undergo the risk of surgical removal.

The agency emphasized that the “overall incidence of BIA-ALCL appears to be relatively low.” However, the sharp increase in diagnoses and deaths since February suggests that the BIA-ALCL problem is far from over. FDA spokesman Jeff Shuren stated that the agency will “continually evaluate any new information and may, as a result, take action regarding other breast implants, if warranted.”

If you or a loved one has suffered a cancer diagnosis after receiving textured breast implants, call the Tennessee breast implant attorneys at David Randolph Smith & Associates.

We've Helped Thousands of People Just Like You

We are known for getting life-changing results and fighting to make our communities safer.

Why Choose Us As Your  Attorney?

With us on your side, you can focus on what’s most important – your recovery.

Decades Of Experience

Decades Of Experience

Our Nashville personal injury attorneys have over 75 years of combined practice handling cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice, civil rights, medical device lawsuits, wrongful death, and more.

Excellent Reputation

Excellent Reputation

DRS Law is a well-respected personal injury law firm based in Nashville. Our lawyers have  been selected as a Mid-South Super Lawyer, named one of the Top    100 attorneys in Tennessee in all fields of practice, and is included in the Best Lawyers in America guidebook.

Small Case Volume

Small Case Volume

Unlike many Nashville firms that handle a large volume of cases, we concentrate on a select few cases. With this, our attorneys ensure that every step is taken to obtain the most favorable outcomes for our clients.

We Prepare For Trial

We Prepare For Trial

Every case is meticulously prepared for trial by our trial team and support staff in order to maximize the recovery for our client, whether by settlement or trial verdict. Our proven track record of success has resulted in multi-million-dollar settlements and judgments.

Get Your Free Consultation

Click Here to Submit Your Case