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France to ban popular breast implants over cancer risk — media

/ 07:49 AM April 04, 2019

In this August 26, 2013 photo, a lawyer points to French-made Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) breast implants involved in a court case in Argentina. AFP

PARIS, France – France is to ban a popular type of breast implant which has been linked to a rare form of cancer, Le Monde newspaper and French public radio reported Wednesday, citing a letter from health authorities to implant manufacturers.

In a decision it called “historic”, Le Monde said France’s National Agency for Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) had informed manufacturers on April 2 of its plans to ban “the manufacture, distribution, importing, exporting, promotion and wearing of textured breast implants and polyurethane breast implants”.

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In the letter, which Le Monde published on its website, the agency cites a “rare but serious danger” posed by the implants, which have been linked to anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA- ALCL), a rare form of cancer.

The ANSM, which has been tracking wearers of breast implants since 2011, is expected to formally announce its decision on Thursday.

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In November it said it had recorded 53 cases of BIA- ALCL, with an “over-representation” among wearers of textured breast implants and recommended implants with a smooth surface instead.

Most of France’s estimated 500,000 implant wearers are believed to have implants with a textured velcro-like surface which sticks to the breast tissue, to avoid slipping out of position.

Breast implants are used in breast enhancements, or for reconstructive purposes after a mastectomy for breast cancer.

France was at the center of a major scandal involving implants in 2010 after it emerged that the maker of a popular brand of implants had been filling them with a cheap industrial-grade silicone gel, which was more dangerous for wearers than medical-grade silicone.

The company, Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), was shut down and its founder Jean-Claude Mas was sentenced to four years in prison for fraud.

In a March 2017 report, the US Food and Drug Administration found that women with breast implants had a “very low but increased risk” of developing anaplastic large-cell lymphoma compared with women who did not have them.

Of the 359 cases of BIA-ALCL reported in the US, 203 were found in wearers of textured implants compared with 28 in wearers of smooth implants, the report said. /cbb

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TAGS: breast implant, Cancer, France, lymphoma, news, polyurethane
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