Recent reports linked to breast implants with a form of lymphoma that is referred to as ALCL. It affected 46 women out of the thousands who had breast implants in Australia. To help you understand this better, we have provided a quick overview below.
ALCL stands for anaplastic large cell lymphoma. It is a rare kind of disease involving non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This unusual type of blood cancer is not hereditary and is a serious illness. Doctors look for the ALK protein for patients who have cancer. The ALK-positive are common among young people while the ALK-negative is usually found in cancer patients over 60 years old. There are existing treatments to help fight the condition. Meanwhile, scientists are still trying to figure out modern and more effective ways to treat the disease and its symptoms.
What Is It?
To give you an overview, cells referred to as lymphocytes grow uncontrollably among those who have lymphoma. These white blood cells, which fight infection, accumulate in the lymph nodes and in other body organs like the lungs of patients who have ALCL. This condition can appear in two ways. The first one is on the skin and it is referred to as cutaneous ALCL. The second one is in the lymph nodes and it is known as systemic ALCL.
Patients who are suffering from systemic ALCL reported symptoms like swelling in the groin, armpit, or neck region. Some also experienced fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, and night sweats. Meanwhile, the symptoms of cutaneous ALCL include itchy red bumps on the skin that may become open sores.
Individuals who suspect that they have ALCL must have themselves checked by a doctor right away. During the consultation, various questions will be asked like when the changes started to appear, if there is any presence of pain, are there any swollen glands, and much more. To determine if the patient has ALCL, the doctor will carry out blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy, MRI, and PET scan.
Systemic ALCL is commonly treated with chemotherapy. CHOP is a type of chemotherapy that is used to treat both ALK-positive and ALK-negative ALCL. The name of the therapy stands for the four drugs that are being used. They are Cytoxan, hydroxydaunorubicin, Oncovin, and prednisolone.
According to Dr. Patrick Briggs, Perth the capital of Western Australia is the place where you can find the best surgeon for your breast implants surgery. ALCL could be acquired if the implant has been contaminated during its insertion into the breasts of the patient. It may develop between three and fourteen years after the surgery and may present itself as a lump. ALCL associated with a breast implant is not breast cancer. In most cases, it can be cured through the removal of the implant.
Dr. Briggs uses a technique that prevents the implant contamination, which may lead to ALCL. He also aims to reduce the risk of infection that is why he committed to the Macquarie University 14 point plan. In addition, he uses implants created from one of the world’s leading implant manufacturers, Allergan, every time he performs a breast augmentation procedure. Allergan implants have a lifetime warranty and it is also known for having low rates of implant-related complications. If you are experiencing problems with your breast implants or perhaps you have some concerns, do not hesitate to call Dr. Patrick Briggs or your surgeon for that matter.