2nd rare cancer reported in Korea regarding Allergan’s breast implant

Jeong Sae-im  Published 2019.12.27  10:30  Updated 2019.12.29 11:04


The local health authorities said they have received the second report of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) in a patient who had Allergan’s specific type of textured implant.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (KSPRS) said Thursday they had an additional report of a local patient with BIA-ALCL.

The female patient in her 40s received breast augmentation surgery using Allergan’s textured breast implant in 2013. After experiencing swelling in her breast, she went through a biopsy at a university hospital and was diagnosed with BIA-ALCL.

The patient visited a hospital immediately after the symptoms because she has been following the regulator and medical institutions’ advice on how to respond to suspected BIA-ALCL symptoms. After the diagnosis, she received additional tests such as positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT). She confirmed that the cancer cells did not spread to other sites.

The food and drug safety ministry said it was preparing a treatment plan for the patient, including implant removal. Under Allergan’s compensation plan for recipients of its textured breast implants announced in September, the drugmaker will cover the patient’s medical expenses.

“We are registering and studying on patients to minimize their difficulties regarding the breast implants and to enhance safety. We will keep monitoring side effects and quickly respond,” the food and drug safety ministry and KSPRS said in a joint statement. “If patients with breast implants develop suspicious symptoms such as sudden changes in breast shape, they must visit a medical institution for examination.”

BIA-ALCL is rare cancer associated with the immune system, which is entirely different from breast cancer. Suspicious symptoms include changes in breast size caused by a seroma, lumps, or skin rashes.

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