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Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)

Position Statement

Our position

The Leukaemia Foundation closely monitors many issues related to blood cancer and their effect on our health.

We’re aware of reports of a connection between people who have received textured breast implants, a type of surgical breast implant, and who have subsequently been diagnosed with a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. This type of cancer is not breast cancer. It is known as breast implantassociated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA–ALCL). It’s rare and can be effectively treated if detected early.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons urge people with breast implants to be vigilant in monitoring for any changes, including lumps, pain, swelling or skin changes in their breasts, and to contact their doctor if they notice anything. People with breast implants should also have their implants checked by their doctor every year.

The Leukaemia Foundation supports a scientific, evidence-based approach in identifying potential connections to causes of blood cancer. We recognise there may be a connection between breast implants and blood cancer but more research is needed to understand any potential connections. We will continue to closely monitor the issue.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding BIA-ALCL, please speak with your healthcare professional.

More information can be accessed via the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) here.

Alignment with Patient First Strategy: Lead towards zero lives lost

Frequently asked questions

What is breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)?

A rare type of lymphoma that develops adjacent to breast implants.

It usually develops as a swelling of the breast 3 to 14 years after the insertion of breast implants, which is due to fluid collecting around the implant, or it can present as a lump in the breast or armpit.

BIA-ALCL does not develop in the breast tissue.

What is the treatment of BIA-ALCL?

The majority of cases are cured with the removal of implants and the fibrous capsule around them from both breasts.

The majority of patients require no additional treatment.

Less commonly, additional treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be required.

What should you do if you are concerned about your breast implants?

If you are concerned about your breast implants, speak with your relevant healthcare professional.

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