Do Breast Implants Cause Cancer?

In some cases, breast augmentation surgery can lead to cancer.

In some cases, breast augmentation surgery can lead to cancer.

For many women, the pressure to have larger breasts can be overwhelming. Many women’s self consciousness lead them to turn to surgery. The desire to achieve bigger breasts has never been stronger thanks to breast augmentation, which some women believe is a harmless and permanent solution. Kimra Rogers, who was a happy and healthy 35 year old wife, and mother of three, got breast implants, completely unaware of the potential consequences. A year and a half before she was diagnosed, cancer cells began spreading from lymph nodes in her armpit up to her clavicle. Her skin started to turn dry and crack, her hair began falling out in handfuls, and she found an egg sized lump in her armpit. It was then she knew something was wrong and went to the doctor. Doctors could not see anything unusual in her blood work and x-rays. However, when they did an ultrasound, they saw six large hidden lumps in her breasts, which she had not been able to feel, because of her implants, doctors took a biopsy and sent it in for a CD30 test, which confirmed Kimra was one of the 359 women worldwide diagnosed with Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. After a year of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and testing, 15 years later at 50 years old, Kimra is still in remission. Kimra now has to deal with personal guilt and face daily chronic fatigue, “If I do something one day, like go to lunch with some girlfriends then get groceries, I know that the next day or two days I’m in bed,” Kimra says. Kimra hopes telling her story will make others aware of the risks she wishes she would have know before getting breast implants, “I want to get the word out to women, if you’re thinking about getting implants, think twice. Truly if they would have said, ‘Hey, there’s a possibility here you could get cancer,’ I would have taken that into consideration.” Fortunately, the FDA has recently issued a safety communication updating physicians and patients about a potential cancer risk associated with breast implants. Perhaps the “dream come true” surgery for many women needs to be put to an end- no cosmetic enhancement surgery is worth endangering one’s health.

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