Allergan Textured Breast Implant Lawsuits in Texas
Some Allergan Breast Implants Have Been Linked to Cancer. Do You Need Help?
Whether you chose to augment your breasts as a cosmetic procedure or received implants after losing breast tissue to cancer, you likely didn’t consent to an increased risk of a rare cancer. Many recipients of Allergan textured breast implants had no idea they were in danger until their diagnosis.
Since 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) as a risk following breast augmentation using certain products. Doctors believe the condition is rare, but gaps in worldwide data make it difficult to precisely determine a patient’s likelihood of receiving a diagnosis.
What Is BIA-ALCL?
Though it develops in the breast, BIA-ALCL is not a type of breast cancer. It is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which means it affects the patient’s immune system. The cancer begins in either the scar tissue or the fluid surrounding an implant. It presents as an accumulation of fluid and/or tumor formation in the breast.
Thankfully, BIA-ALCL is not aggressive and can usually be treated by removing the implant. Patients who receive a timely diagnosis and treatment are overwhelmingly likely (89%) to survive 5 or more years after their bout with cancer.
What Are the Symptoms of BIA-ALCL?
Occurring anywhere from 2 to 28 years after a patient’s implant surgery, BIA-ALCL is characterized by:
- Swelling of the breast
- Fluid pockets around an implant
- Breast pain
- Lumps in breast tissue
- Changes in breast shape
- Breast asymmetry
For many women, pain does not accompany the formation of this cancer. However, BIA-ALCL is a serious health condition that calls for urgent treatment. If you notice any changes in your breasts after you have recovered from implant surgery, you should contact your doctor.
How Can Allergan Breast Implants Cause Cancer?
BIA-ALCL is likely caused by specific implant types: Allergan BIOCELL textured implants have been linked to the majority of cancer cases. Of 272 BIA-ALCL diagnoses tracked by the FDA, 242 were caused by textured breast implants. The other patients affected may have used textured tissue expanders or replaced their textured implants with smooth ones.
We do not yet know why textured breast implants tend to cause cancer at a much higher rate than their smooth counterparts. Scientists have suggested textured implants cause higher levels of tissue inflammation. The implants may also be able to host more bacteria due to increased surface area. A patient’s genetic makeup could increase their risk as well.
Did the Allergan Know About the Risks?
Pre-release product tests should catch issues like an increased risk for an extremely rare type of cancer. Allergan nevertheless released many models of textured breast implants before consumers know about the related dangers. Even after the links were revealed, many patients didn’t receive sufficient warning.
At the end of 2018, France announced a recall of Allergan's textured breast implants due to the risk of cancer. Patients throughout Europe could no longer use these dangerous products—and the company was even banned from manufacturing them in the continent. Despite the evidence that led to the European recall, textured implants were still available in the U.S. until August of 2019. Allergan may have knowingly endangered patients’ lives by selling their products to uninformed patients.
What to Know About BIA-ALCL Treatment
For those diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, there is good news. The cancer is one of the easier types to treat. In most cases, surgeons will recommend removing both the implant and the surrounding scar tissue that hosts the cancer. If if a patient does not receive this surgery in time, or chooses to keep the implants, the cancer may spread to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body.
Should the BIA-ALCL progress, patients may need chemotherapy or radiation treatments to help them beat the cancer. It is very rarely fatal (around 2% of patients have passed away from the disease, according to FDA reports).
Can I Sue Allergan After a BIA-ALCL Diagnosis?
You may be eligible to file a lawsuit if you’ve been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL. Because the disease is so specific, there is strong evidence for the links between breast implants and cancer formation. Especially if you received an implant model that has since been recalled, we can help you build a credible case for compensation.
Don’t worry if you don’t remember the manufacturer of your breast implants. Many patients don’t, especially if the cancer appears years after the initial procedure. However, your surgeon may be able to find the information in your medical record. You can also check with the surgeon who removed an implant if you have already undergone treatment for BIA-ALCL.
A cancer diagnosis is always scary and disruptive. Though most patients impacted by dangerous breast implants can avoid chemotherapy and other expensive ongoing treatments, they still suffer losses ranging from medical bills to missed work to pain and suffering. We may be able to help you recover compensation for your troubles.
Do you have questions about breast implants and BIA-ALCL? Our team is ready to talk to you. Find us online or call (512) 400-3278 today.
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