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What Do Doctors Know About BIA-ALCL, The Cancer Caused By Allergan Breast Implants?

March 18, 2020
Colson Hicks Eidson

Textured breast implants manufactured by Allergan have faced recalls due to the increased risk that they can cause breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). While this type of cancer is classified as being “rare,” it is still vital that oncologists and surgeons understand the symptoms and how this disease should be treated.

At Colson Hicks Eidson, our award-winning law firm is currently taking cases of those affected by BIA-ALCL in Florida or anywhere else in the United States. Our product liability attorneys strive to secure compensation when our clients have been harmed due to faulty products.

What Do The Doctors Know About BIA-ALCL?

At the recent 37th Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference, doctors and surgeons discussed the signs and symptoms of BIA-ALCL, as well as how the disease is diagnosed and treated. This is important because the cases of this type of cancer have been increasing. As of July 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received 573 unique, confirmed cases of BIA-ALCL. Out of those cases, 481 one was linked to textured breast implants like the BIOCELL implants manufactured by Allergan. It is likely that many cases of BIA-ALCL are still underreported.

BIA-ALCL is an extranodal T-cell lymphoma that develops in the scar tissue and fluid adjacent to the breast implants. Doctors say that this cancer presents clinically as seroma and typically occurs 8 to 10 years after the initial placement of the breast implant. Physicians say that doctors need to be on the lookout for:

  • A palpable mass
  • A palpable lymphadenopathy
  • Skin rash
  • Fevers
  • Capsular contracture

At the conference, doctors said that the first step to take if BIA-ALCL is suspected is to give the patient an ultrasound. If the ultrasound is indeterminate, a breast MRI should be performed. If patients present with seroma fluid collection, needle aspiration can be completed and results sent to pathology.

At the conference, doctors said that surgical treatment for BIA-ALCL includes removing the disease as well as breast implants. Chemotherapy and radiation may be recommended if the disease has progressed beyond the breast area. A 2016 study shows that the overall three- and five-year survival rate for this cancer is 94% and 91% respectively if treatment is rendered.

We Are Here To Help

If you or somebody you care about has been diagnosed with cancer due to a defective Allergan textured breast implant, contact an attorney immediately. The team at Colson Hicks Eidson has experience taking on negligent medical device manufacturers in Florida and throughout the United States. Our goal is to secure the compensation that our clients need. This can include:

  • Coverage of all medical bills related to the defective implant
  • Recovery of income lost if you are unable to work
  • Mental anguish damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Possible punitive damages against the manufacturer

If you need a skilled product liability lawyer by your side, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling us at 305-476-7443.