PIP implant breast cancer link ruled out

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Faulty breast implants widely known as PIP (Poly Implant Prosthese) were back in the news today, with the release of a new report that found that women who have the faulty implants are not at higher risk of cancer.

Breast implants are liable to split (rupture). Concerns had been raised that PIP implants, which contain industrial silicone rather than medical-grade fillers, would expose women to potentially toxic elements if they ruptured. It was believed that this could then lead to cancer.

However, a new European Commision scientific report suggests that ruptured PIP implants do not cancer.

The report also found that there is no convincing evidence to justify routinely removing intact PIP implants. However, it says concerns about the high rupture rates associated with PIP implants means women who have these implants should be regularly examined by a doctor.

About 47,000 British women in the UK are thought to have the implants.

What is the problem with PIP implants? PIP implants – your options If you know, or you think, you may have PIP implants you can:

find out if you have PIP implants by checking your medical notes (available free from your clinic or GP) talk to the NHS or private organisation that carried out the implant and agree what’s best for you – get advice on whether or not you need a scan then discuss removal with your doctor if you decide you want your implants replaced, the NHS will do it free if your original operation was done on the NHS if your original operation was in a private clinic you will need to speak to the clinic to see if they will replace them free of charge if your private clinic no longer exists or refuses to remove the implants, speak to your GP. The NHS will remove your implants if your doctor agrees there is a medical need

PIP is a type of silicone implant made by a French company. Investigations by French authorities found they contained industrial silicone rather than medical grade fillers unauthorised for use in breast implants, rather than medical grade fillers. Marketing, distribution and use of the implants was suspended in March 2010.

Tests also indicated that PIP implants had a higher probability of rupturing or leaking silicone than other implants.

Concerns were raised after a womea known to have PIP implants died of a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). After reviewing the available evidence, an expert committee stated that this was just a tragic coincidence and was not directly caused by the implants.

In the UK, an expert committee concluded that there was not enough evidence to recommend the early removal of PIP implants.

(Source NHS Choices)

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