The Last Illness
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The FDA officially approved silicone breast implants in , but even then the NWHN believed that approval was premature because adequate long-term studies of the devices had not been done. Many women who later report health problems feel fine during the first few years after getting breast implants, making long-term studies essential.
In the FDA raised concerns over a possible connection between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma ALCL , which is not breast cancer but a type of T-cell lymphoma cancer of the immune system. Because of gaps in implant sales data, it is difficult to determine the rate of breast implant-associated ALCL, but the FDA estimates that 1 in 3, to 30, recipients could be affected. This cancer has been found regardless of implant filling and texture, but people whose implants have a textured surface rather than a smooth surface are also more likely to experience these complications.
Breast implant recipients continue to report symptoms similar to those of autoimmune disorders including fatigue, muscle and joint aches, fevers, dry eyes and mouth, and occasionally poor memory or concentration.
Studies have now linked these symptoms to autoimmune syndrome induced by adjuvants ASIA. This happens when materials, in this case the silicone used in breast implants, trigger an autoimmune response causing patients to display a variety of symptoms like the ones listed above.
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A study published in the Netherlands Journal Of Medicine found that most or all of the symptoms went away in 69 percent of women who had their implants removed. Another study published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that women whose silicone implants had ruptured and leaked into the surrounding tissues were more likely to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disorder that has similar symptoms to BII.
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Although it is reassuring that many people feel better after having their implants removed, it would be more helpful if there were reliable estimates of how common these symptoms are over the long-term. We will update our information after that meeting. One thing people with implants can do to protect their health is to get MRIs to check for ruptures, if they can afford the test.