Breast Implants and Cancer Risk

In a world where millions of women have breast implants, there’s no shortage of discussion around their safety, especially when it comes to the alarming ‘C’ word – cancer. This article takes a deep scientific dive into the connection between breast implants and cancer, scrutinizing the existing evidence to present a balanced perspective on the controversial issue.

Understanding Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)

The standout concern when it comes to breast implants and cancer is a rare type of lymphoma called Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer; it’s a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma – a cancer of the lymphatic system. According to the World Health Organization, BIA-ALCL is classified as a lymphoma that can develop in the fibrous scar tissue that forms around a breast implant. There have been conflicting reports on the frequency of BIA-ALCL, but the risk is generally considered very low.

The Science Behind the Risk

A comprehensive evaluation of numerous studies over the past decades indicates that while the absolute risk of developing BIA-ALCL is low, it is heightened with textured implants. Textured implants have a rough surface, designed to minimize the risk of capsular contracture, a complication where the scar tissue tightens around the implant, causing the breast to harden. However, this type of implant has been consistently linked to BIA-ALCL. Smooth implants, on the other hand, have a significantly lower associated risk.

Regulatory Actions and Patient Considerations

It’s important to highlight regulatory steps and patient considerations in light of this risk. Many countries’ health authorities have taken steps to ensure public awareness of BIA-ALCL. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have conducted reviews and issued statements about the condition. Patients are advised to discuss the benefits and risks of different types of implants with their healthcare providers before surgery.

Conclusion: Weighing the Risk

The decision to get breast implants is deeply personal and complex, with many factors to consider. The data suggests that while breast implants, especially textured ones, may carry a slight risk of a specific type of lymphoma, the majority of women with implants will not develop cancer. The scientific community continues to research the issue, pursuing safer options for this widely performed procedure. Ultimately, it’s about informed decision-making and open conversations between patients and medical professionals.


Is there a link between breast cancer and breast implants?

In recent years, concerns have emerged regarding a potential connection between breast cancer and breast implants. While breast augmentation has become a popular cosmetic procedure, questions surrounding its safety, specifically regarding cancer risk, have sparked debates within the medical community and among patients.

The primary focus of concern revolves around a rare type of cancer known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). This condition is not breast cancer but rather a type of lymphoma that can develop in the scar tissue surrounding breast implants. The link was first identified in the early 1990s, and since then, researchers have been working to understand the correlation and assess the overall risk.

It’s crucial to note that BIA-ALCL is an extremely rare form of cancer. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the estimated risk is approximately 1 in 30,000 women with textured breast implants. The vast majority of breast implant recipients do not develop this condition, and the risk appears to be higher in those with textured implants rather than smooth ones.

Researchers are actively investigating the factors that may contribute to the development of BIA-ALCL. Some studies suggest that certain types of textured implants may promote inflammation, potentially triggering the lymphoma in susceptible individuals. However, the exact mechanisms behind this relationship are not yet fully understood.

Some health organisations have acknowledged the potential link between breast implants and BIA-ALCL. And as a result, they recommend regular monitoring and follow-up care for individuals with breast implants. Symptoms such as swelling, pain, or lumps around the breast area should be promptly reported to a healthcare professional for further evaluation.

Despite the ongoing research and safety measures, it’s essential for individuals considering breast augmentation to weigh the potential risks against the benefits. Consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon and thorough discussions about personal health history can help individuals make informed decisions about their choice of implants and the procedure itself.

In conclusion, while there is a rare association between breast implants, particularly textured ones, and BIA-ALCL, the overall risk remains low. Continued research is crucial for a better understanding of this relationship, ensuring the safety of individuals opting for breast augmentation procedures.

If you think you are showing any symptoms related to breast cancer or have any concerns why not book a scan?

Implant Health gives patients access to personalised breast implant health screenings, with only the very best surgeons, and radiologists to ensure the highest standards of excellence.

Currently, the service is available at OneWelbeck Medical Centre in London. The scans start at £450 and are open to anybody who has breast implants.


The Truth About the Health Risks of Breast Implants

Breast implants are a popular aesthetic procedure that has become increasingly common over the past few years. Women choose to have them for a variety of reasons such as to increase breast size, correct asymmetry, or reconstruct post-cancer. However, with the prevalence of breast implants has come concerns regarding their impact on overall health. So, can breast implants harm your health? In this blog post, we will explore the topic in-depth to help you make a more informed decision about your body.

First, let’s address the most significant health concern surrounding breast implants which is breast implant illness (BII). BII is a collection of symptoms that some women experience after having breast implants. These symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, and more. While there is no definitive proof that breast implants cause BII, many women have reported relief after removing their implants. It’s important to note that not all women with implants experience these symptoms, and not all symptoms are necessarily caused by the implants.

Another common concern is that breast implants can increase your risk of autoimmune disease. Again, while there is no conclusive proof that breast implants directly cause autoimmune disease, several studies have found a correlation between the two. One study found that women with breast implants had a higher incidence of a type of arthritis called rheumatoid arthritis. Another study found that women with implants were more likely to develop Sjögren’s syndrome, a disease in which white blood cells attack moisture-producing glands.

When it comes to breast cancer, many women worry that implants could potentially hide breast lumps or make it more difficult to detect cancerous cells. However, studies show that breast implants do not affect mammography accuracy. In fact, mammography provides more detailed images and can be performed more quickly in women with breast implants.

It’s also worth considering the material used in breast implants. The two most common types of implants are silicone and saline. Silicone implants are made of a silicone outer shell filled with silicone gel, while saline implants are filled with sterile saltwater. Several studies have been conducted on the safety of silicone implants and have found no evidence that they are associated with serious health risks. However, ruptures can occur, which can cause complications including infection, scarring, and breast pain.

In conclusion, while there may be some potential health risks associated with breast implants, it’s essential to note that the majority of women with breast implants do not experience any negative side effects. It’s crucial to speak with an experienced and qualified surgeon and perform proper research before undergoing any surgical procedure. Ultimately, the decision to get breast implants is a personal one, and every woman should do what feels right for her body. If you do decide to get implants, it’s important to maintain regular breast implant health checks to ensure the implants are healthy and functioning correctly.


Can I have a 3D mammogram with breast implants

It’s a common myth that you can’t get 3d mammograms if you have breast implants, in fact, it’s one of our main diagnostic tools. They are the best detection method for early signs of breast cancer and are used to indicate signs of implant rupture or leakage.

Do breast implants interfere with mammograms?

Most breast implants consist of either silicone or saline which is known to blur and obstruct the breast tissue underneath. Implant placement, either in front of or behind the pectoral muscle, can have an impact on mammograms, but in most cases can be moved to get a clear view.


Should I get a 2d or 3d mammogram with breast implants?

It’s another common myth that 2d scans are better for getting a clearer view of the breast tissue if you have breast implants. In fact, 3d mammograms remain the best way to clearly map the breast and act as an excellent screening technique for dense breasts, breast cancer, and other irregularities.


3d mammogram with breast implants explained

An average mammogram will consist of two images per breast. It is highly recommended you seek a clinic that is capable of taking multiple images including what is known as an implant displacement view. This involves pushing the breast implant back toward the chest and pulling up the breast in front of it. We can then compress the breast to reveal a clearer image of the front section of each.


Should I get an ultrasound or mammogram?

An ultrasound is a fantastic way to show if a breast implant is obstructing a mass or lump. However, mammograms can reveal small deposits of calcium that can detect initial stages of breast cancer. Luckily, we offer packages that consist of both types of scans to give you the best chance of detection.

Book an ultrasound scan today

Whether you’re looking to get a mammogram or an ultrasound, we are here to help. You can be sure you are in safe hands with Implant Health’s founders consisting of some of the UK’s leading plastic surgeons.

Worried about your breast implants?

If you’re worried about your implants, we can help.

The benefits of breast implant checks include the early detection of implant-related problems and the ability to monitor how your breast and implant change over time.

Getting a Breast Implant Check

Getting a Breast Implant Check

If you have undergone or are considering a breast augmentation, you may be looking at getting a breast implant health check the overall health of your implant. 

On average, breast implants should last around 10 years, before we recommend changing or removing them. Whilst the procedure is considered safe, it is important to remember that like all medical procedures, they do carry a risk of complication. To help mitigate the risk of complications, we advise getting a breast implant health check to check every couple of years. 

Dedicated breast health screenings, such as Implant Health use specialist MRI equipment to view the overall health and condition of your implant, and your overall breast health to detect any signs of complication or abnormality. 

What Complications could Arise?

Now, complications arising from breast augmentations are very rare. However, if you suspect something is wrong, you must contact a trained professional who will be able to identify and treat the problem. 

Here are some of the complications that could arise from breast augmentation procedures.

Breast Implant Infection

To your body, breast implants are a foreign material and therefore there is a slight risk they could become infected. If you experience high fever, breast pain, swelling, tenderness, or breast discharge, you should seek the help of a professional to provide treatment. 

Capsular contracture

Following your procedure, a thin layer of scar tissue will form around the surface of the implant, this is known as a capsule and is completely natural. However, in some cases, this capsule may become abnormally thickened and start to cause discomfort. We call this a capsular contracture, which may require surgery to remove the hard capsule of tissue. 

Breast Implant Malposition

This happens when a breast implant moves, causing issues with positioning. It can happen soon after surgery later down the line but symptoms usually manifest as significant and visible changes to the overall shape and positioning. 

Breast Implant Ruptures

This is more common in older implants, but they can occur at any time. Symptoms to look out for include a significant change in breast size or shape, hardness around the implant, lumps, and redness to the skin. 

In some cases, ruptures may not present any symptoms, this is known as a silent rupture. Again, we recommend having your implants checked regularly to avoid any problems.


BIA-ALCL, also known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma is an extremely rare blood cancer that forms in the capsule of breast implants. Symptoms include a build-up of fluid or a hard lump developing around the breast. 


If your breast implant ruptures or you have a low-grade infection it can cause fluid to collect around the implant. The most common symptom to look out for is an increase in overall breast size. 

If you have noticed any sudden changes in your breasts following a breast augmentation, getting a breast implant check can help to identify any underlying issues. At Implant Health, any abnormalities, revisions, and required treatment will be discussed with you and dealt with by specialist plastic surgeons, and Doctors.

Here at Implant Health, we strive to empower and support you through your implant journey, so if you have any concerns or would like to book a breast screening contact our team.  


Why do Breast Implants Hurt?

If you have recently undergone breast augmentation or are considering it, you may be wondering how much pain is normal and what you can expect during the healing period.

However, several other reasons may cause your breast implants to hurt including complications. Now, when it comes to complications associated with breast procedures, they are considered rare but if you suspect there is something wrong, we advise you to contact a professional for an examination. 

What does the Healing Process Look like?

Naturally, during your procedure, your surgeon will need to create an incision and stretch the existing breast tissue to place your implant. 

This may result in some post-operative pain, swelling, and tenderness which is completely natural and part of the healing process. Any pain can be controlled using anti-inflammatory medication and should begin to improve within a few weeks of surgery. 

What complications cause pain?

Now, whilst the risk of complication is low certain conditions may cause breast implant pain. 

Capsular contracture

 Capsular contracture occurs when the body’s immune system responds to the presence of a foreign object, such as a breast implant, by forming scar tissue around it. 

In some cases, this scar tissue can become thick and constrict, causing pain and discomfort.

Implant rupture or leakage 

If a breast implant ruptures, it can cause pain and discomfort. This can happen due to trauma, aging of the implant, or a defect in the implant.

Implant displacement

Sometimes, breast implants can shift or move out of place, causing pain and discomfort.

Breast Implant Infection 

Breast implant infections are rare but can occur. If an infection develops, it can cause pain, swelling, redness, and other symptoms.

If you are experiencing persistent pain or discomfort with your breast implants, you must speak with your plastic surgeon. They can perform a physical examination, imaging tests, or other diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your symptoms and recommend the appropriate treatment.

For more information on breast pain, or to book a breast health screening contact Implant Health.


My breast implant is the wrong shape – what can I do?

Whilst extremely rare, breast augmentations do carry a slight risk of complication. One of the main symptoms that something is wrong is a significant change in the look and feel of your implant. 

In this blog, we will look at some of the possible complications that could cause your breast implant to change shape and treatment for each condition.

What are the complications?

Breast augmentations remain the most sought-after cosmetic procedures around today. Now, complications from breast augmentations are rare but it is important to have your implants checked by a professional to treat the issue. 

On average, the lifespan of both saline and silicone breast implants is around 10 years. After this time, it is recommended that you have them replaced or removed. However, during the lifespan of your implant, we recommend you book regular breast health screenings to ensure your implant and surrounding breast remain healthy. 

Here are some complications that could cause your breast to change shape:

Capsular contracture

Following breast augmentations, it is natural to develop a thin layer of scar tissue over the surface of the implant. If this tissue becomes abnormally thickened it can cause discomfort in the breast and result in it changing shape. 

We call this a capsular contracture and sometimes will recommend further surgery to remove the affected tissue. 

Breast Implant Ruptures

Breast Implant Ruptures are more common in older implants, but they can occur at any time. If you have a saline implant, one of the main symptoms to look out for is a significant change in breast shape, and size. 

In silicone implants, ruptures may be a little more difficult to identify as the silicone generally remains around the breast tissue, but you may notice hardening of the breast.

Breast Implant Rupture treatment typically involves surgery to remove the implant, and replace it if necessary. 

Breast Implant Malposition

This can happen following the initial surgery, or later in life but Implant Malposition happens when the implant changes position in the breast. Changes can include rotation, flipping, and slipping but all will manifest as a change in overall breast shape. 

If you suspect your breast implant has moved, contact your surgeon, or book a screening at one of our facilities. A qualified surgeon will be able to correct the implant position or replace it if necessary. 

Seroma (fluid around the implant)

If your implant ruptures or you have developed a minor infection, fluid can collect around the implant which in most cases causes the breast to increase in overall size. You should always seek professional help to identify and treat the seroma to mitigate any further problems.  

Will breast implant screening help?

Yes. Regular breast screenings can monitor how your breast implants change over time and the overall health of the surrounding breast. Any change in shape or size will be detected during your screenings, and we will be able to identify the cause and recommend a suitable course of action.

For more information on breast implant infections, or to book a breast health screening contact our team at Implant Health.

Breast Implants and Cancer

Breast implants have become a widely chosen option for women seeking to enhance their body image and self-confidence. However, concerns about the potential link between breast implants and cancer have prompted important conversations within the medical community and among patients. Understanding the facts and risks associated with breast implants and cancer is crucial for making informed decisions about cosmetic procedures.

Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL):

The primary cancer concern associated with breast implants is Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). BIA-ALCL is a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that can develop in the scar tissue around breast implants, typically in the fluid or capsule surrounding the implant.

Low Risk and Rare Incidence:

It’s important to emphasize that BIA-ALCL is rare. The risk is relatively low, with the majority of individuals who have breast implants not developing this condition. According to health authorities, the occurrence of BIA-ALCL is estimated to be around 1 in 3,000 to 1 in 30,000 individuals with textured implants.

Symptoms and Diagnosis:

The most common symptom of BIA-ALCL is swelling in the breast, often occurring years after the initial breast augmentation surgery. Other potential symptoms include pain, changes in breast shape, and the presence of a lump. If you experience these symptoms, it’s essential to consult with a medical professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

Understanding the Link:

The link between breast implants and BIA-ALCL is primarily associated with textured implants, as opposed to smooth implants. Textured implants have a higher surface area, which is believed to create an environment that may foster the development of BIA-ALCL. This is why regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have issued safety alerts and recommendations regarding the use of textured implants.

Reducing Risk and Ensuring Safety:

To minimize the risk of BIA-ALCL, individuals considering breast augmentation should prioritize safety and communication with their plastic surgeon. Some steps to consider include:

Choosing Implant Type: Opt for smooth implants rather than textured ones, as the risk of BIA-ALCL is associated with textured implants.

Surgeon Selection: Choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with expertise in breast augmentation procedures.

Regular Check-ups: Schedule regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor the condition of your breast implants.

Awareness and Education: Stay informed about the latest research, safety recommendations, and developments related to breast implants and cancer.


While the concern of breast implants and cancer is valid, it’s important to understand that the risk of developing cancer due to breast implants is low and mainly associated with BIA-ALCL, a rare type of lymphoma. Educating oneself about the risks, opting for smooth implants, and maintaining open communication with a qualified plastic surgeon are key steps in making informed decisions that prioritize your health and well-being. As research and knowledge evolve, individuals considering breast augmentation should remain vigilant and proactive in ensuring their safety and peace of mind.


Concerned About Breast Implants and Health?

If you’re concerned about breast implants and your health, it’s important to address your concerns in a proactive and informed manner. While breast augmentation is generally safe, it’s natural to want to ensure your well-being. Here are steps to consider if you think your breast implants are making you ill:

  1. Consult a Medical Professional:

If you’re experiencing symptoms that you believe might be related to your breast implants, the first step is to consult a qualified medical professional. A board-certified plastic surgeon or a healthcare provider experienced in breast implant issues can help evaluate your symptoms, medical history, and overall health.

  1. Document Your Symptoms:

Keep a detailed record of the symptoms you’re experiencing. Include information such as the type of symptoms, when they started, any patterns you’ve noticed, and how they impact your daily life. This information will be valuable when discussing your concerns with a medical professional.

  1. Be Open About Your Concerns:

When consulting a medical professional, be open and transparent about your concerns. Clearly communicate your symptoms, your suspicion that they might be related to your breast implants, and any relevant information about your medical history. This will help the healthcare provider assess your situation accurately.

  1. Consider Medical Testing:

Depending on your symptoms and medical history, your healthcare provider might recommend medical testing to rule out other potential causes. Imaging techniques like ultrasound or MRI can help assess the condition of your breast implants and surrounding tissue. These tests can provide valuable information for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

  1. Seek a Second Opinion:

If you’re unsure about the initial assessment or diagnosis, don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion from another qualified medical professional. Different perspectives can help you make a well-informed decision about your health.

  1. Research and Educate Yourself:

While online information can be helpful, it’s essential to rely on reputable sources for information about breast implant health concerns. Look for information from reputable medical organizations, regulatory agencies, and established healthcare providers.

  1. Consider Implant Removal or Revision:

If your medical evaluations suggest that your breast implants might be causing health issues, you may need to consider implant removal or revision surgery. Discuss the potential benefits, risks, and considerations with your healthcare provider and plastic surgeon.

  1. Prioritize Your Well-Being:

Your health and well-being are of the utmost importance. Make decisions that prioritize your physical and emotional health. If you’re experiencing symptoms that significantly impact your quality of life, seeking appropriate medical attention is essential.


If you believe your breast implants are making you ill, or are concerned about breast implants, it’s important to approach the situation with careful consideration and informed decision-making. Consulting qualified medical professionals, documenting your symptoms, and prioritizing open communication will guide you toward the best course of action for your health. Whether it’s seeking medical testing, considering implant removal, or exploring treatment options, taking proactive steps will ensure that you’re on the path to addressing your concerns and achieving your well-being.


BIA-ALCL- Understanding Breast Implant Cancer

Breast Implant Cancer | BIA-ALCL

Breast implants are a popular choice for many women seeking to enhance their appearance. While the procedure is generally safe, it is crucial to be aware of potential risks and complications. One such concern is breast implant-related cancer, specifically a rare form known as Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). In this article, we will delve into the facts surrounding this condition, its potential causes, and the importance of awareness and precautions.

What is Breast Implant Cancer

Breast implant-related cancer, particularly BIA-ALCL, is a rare type of cancer that can develop in women with breast implants. It is not breast cancer, but rather a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that typically affects the scar tissue and fluid surrounding the implant. BIA-ALCL is generally characterized by swelling, pain, or lumps in the breast area years after the initial breast augmentation surgery.

BIA-ALCL – Understanding the Risk Factors

It is important to note that the occurrence of BIA-ALCL is extremely rare. Current research suggests that certain types of textured implants have a higher association with the condition compared to smooth-surfaced implants. However, it is still unclear why some individuals develop BIA-ALCL while others do not. Additionally, it appears that the longer the implants remain in the body, the higher the risk of developing this rare cancer.

Awareness and Early Detection 

While breast implant-related cancer is rare, it is crucial for individuals with breast implants to be aware of the potential risks and stay vigilant. Regular self-examinations and routine follow-ups with a qualified plastic surgeon are key in identifying any concerning changes in the breast tissue. Symptoms of BIA-ALCL may include swelling, pain, asymmetry, or the formation of a mass. If any of these symptoms are experienced, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly.

Precautions and Consultations 

For those considering breast augmentation, it is vital to have open and thorough discussions with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Understanding the benefits and risks associated with different types of implants, including the potential risk of BIA-ALCL, is crucial in making an informed decision. Additionally, choosing an experienced surgeon who follows best practices and regularly monitors patients for potential complications is key to reducing the risks.

Ongoing Research and Safety Measures 

To further ensure patient safety, regulatory authorities, manufacturers, and medical professionals are continuously conducting research and implementing safety measures. This includes monitoring and reporting any cases of breast implant-related cancer, investigating potential causes, improving implant designs, and providing updated guidelines to healthcare professionals.


Breast implant-related cancer, particularly BIA-ALCL, is an extremely rare but important consideration for individuals with breast implants. Staying informed, being aware of potential symptoms, and maintaining regular follow-ups with a qualified plastic surgeon are crucial for early detection and successful treatment. By understanding the risks and taking necessary precautions, individuals can make informed choices and prioritize their overall health and well-being.


If you have concerns about your breast implants, Implant Health can help. We encourage regular check-ups of your implants to address issues and check for any problems. To get a check-up, please book an appointment.


Worried about your breast implants?

If you’re worried about your implants, we can help.

The benefits of breast implant checks include the early detection of implant-related problems and the ability to monitor how your breast and implant change over time.