In 2015, plastic surgeons who have been well known for defending the safety of breast implants published a study of 173 women with cancer of the immune system caused by breast implants.
Most of these women aren’t just talking about body image; they are getting their implants removed because of their health. Breast implants can make some women so sick that removal is their best hope for feeling like themselves again. Several celebrities are trying to spread this information to the general public.
At the time the Institute of Medicine report was published in 1999, the major controversy about breast implants was whether it could cause connective-tissue diseases or autoimmune diseases. There were only 17 studies on the subject at the time, but the conventional wisdom was that these studies proved that breast implants are safe. However, a careful review of the results paints a different picture.
The FDA has reported growing evidence that breast implants are associated with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare cancer of the immune system.
In recent years, there has been a growing concern that annual mammograms starting at age 40 may do more harm than good for many women. That is why the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, an expert group that reviews the latest research findings, recommends that mammography screening for most women start at age 50 rather than 40, and that the frequency be every two years (instead of annually) through the age of 74.
In 2011, the FDA announced that saline breast implants and silicone gel breast implants were linked to a rare cancer of the immune system.