Women with breast implants alerted to cancer risk

December 3rd, 2011 - 8:21 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 3 (IANS) Tens of thousands of women in Britain who have had breast implants were urged to have medical check-ups amid fears they are at heightened risk of cancer, a media report said Saturday.

The alert follows the death of a French woman who had implants filled with silicone gel believed to have been made for mattresses.

Up to 50,000 British women - including some breast cancer survivors - have the French-made implants, which are fragile and more likely to leak than other brands, the Daily Mail reported.

Fears about the safety of Poly Implants Protheses - or PIPs - which were among the cheapest implants on the market, first surfaced 18 months ago. However, they receded after tests failed to find any firm evidence that the implants could trigger cancer.

Now, the death of 53-year-old Edwige Ligoneche, in a Marseille cancer clinic, from a rare form of cancer has re-ignited concern.

Although the link with the implants hasn’t been established, it is feared that the gel leaked out of her breasts and into her system.

The French Society of Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons says the gel could have been an ‘aggravating factor’ in the cancer.

Their British counterparts have urged women not to worry - but say that patients who have, or suspect they have these implants, should have regular scans to check for flaws and cracks.

If there are signs of damage, implants on both sides should be removed, the Mail said quoting the experts.

The alarm was first raised in France after surgeons noticed that PIP implants were rupturing much more quickly than other more expensive brands.

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