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Can Silicone Breast Implants Increase the Risk of NHL?

By November 7, 2008

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The strangest stuff seem to increase risk of lymphoma.

A study from the Netherlands recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association accidentally found an increased risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in women with silicone breast implants. The risk seemed to increase substantially compared to the general population. A woman with a silicone implant is 18 times more likely to get ALCL than someone who does not have an implant. The probable reason for tis risk is the body's immune response to the implant.

In spite of an increase in risk, the likelihood of getting ALCL is still pretty small. Only about one woman in 100,000 with silicone breast implants is likely to get ALCL.

What does this mean for someone contemplating a silicone breast implant? The actual risk of lymphoma is small enough not to practically deter anyone from getting an implant. However, it may be worthwhile to test this link further in order to better understand the connection between implant and lymphomas. Maybe silicone implants of the future can be modified to reduce the risk of developing lymphomas.

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