The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that breast implants have been linked to a rare type of cancer called “breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma” or BIA-ALCL. BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer but is a type of “T-cell cancer”, a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma which forms in the scar capsule or tissue surrounding an implant.
BIA-ALCL has occurred in some patients with smooth implants but has mainly been diagnosed in patients with textured breast implants. The FDA has said that Allergan BIOCELL textured breast implants and expanders are 6 times more likely to cause BIA-ALCL than implants from other manufacturers.
People who received Allergan Natrelle textured implants or expanders with BIOCELL technology may be eligible for compensation.
Sales of Allergan textured breast implants were suspended in December 2018 in the European Union, Australia, Brazil, and Israel and in May 2019 in Canada.
Allergan took no action in the U.S. until July 2019 when FDA requested that Allergan voluntarily recall all of its textured implants and expanders after a study of BIA-ALCL adverse events associated with Allergan BIOCELL textured implants appears to be 6 times higher than textured implants from other manufacturers.
Out of 573 reported cases of BIA-ALCL, 481 or over 80% occurred in people whose implants were manufactured by Allergan, including 12 out of 13 deaths which occurred in Allergan implant recipients.