Were you diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) after receiving breast implants? Are you experiencing swelling, fluid retention, lumps, hardening or pain in or around your implants?

The FDA recently announced that individuals with breast implants have a risk of developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer, but a cancer of the immune system (a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma). In most cases, BIA-ALCL is found in the scar tissue and fluid near the implant, but in some cases, it can spread throughout the body.

A recent study from a leading U.S. medical journal found that breast implants are associated with increased risk of breast ALCL, but the absolute risk has not been determined. To date, the FDA has received more than 400 medical device reports relating to BIA-ALCL, including 9 deaths.

Manufactures of the breast implants include Mentor/Johnson & Johnson, Allergan/Actavis, and Sientra.

In April 2018, McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt and Ross Feller Casey filed what is believed to be the first lawsuit in the nation against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries relating to BIA-ALCL. The suit was brought on behalf of Renee Cashen, 45, of Ashville, Ohio, who developed anaplastic large cell lymphoma eight years after having surgery to implant MemoryGel® SILTEX® implants, made by Mentor Worldwide (read more about the case).

The implants that have shown to increase risks of BIA-ALCL can be either silicone gel or saline with either a textured or smooth surface, although findings suggests that the textured variety have led to the condition far more often.

It can take more than 10 years for BIA-ALCL to develop. Patients who develop the disease typically undergo surgery to remove the implant and surrounding breast capsule, while others may be treated with radiation and chemotherapy.

Symptoms of BIA-ALCL may include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Fluid buildup
  • Breast lump or lumps
  • Hardening of or mass around the implants

Breast Implant Cancer Detection

Once patients have symptoms such as those listed above, doctors collect fluid samples for testing. Positive results include the presence of malignant T-cells. Doctors may also use a number of different tests to diagnose non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, such as:

  • Biopsies
  • Chest X-rays
  • Physical exams
  • Ultrasound imaging tests
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scans

You may qualify for a BIA-ALCL lawsuit if you:

  • Underwent a breast augmentation surgery, regardless of whether it was reconstructive or cosmetic, and
  • Developed the rare ALCL form of lymphoma, even if your diagnosis occurred many years after getting implants

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, you may be entitled to compensation, but your time to file a lawsuit is limited. Please call 1-888-4-BIA-ALCL to speak to a McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt BIA-ALCL lawsuit attorney.