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Channel 4 Dispatches on health problems associated with breast implants
Women with breast implants are at risk of developing a rare type of cancer known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). BIA-ALCL typically occurs in the scar tissue capsule or fluid that surrounds the implant. In some cases, BIA-ALCL can spread throughout the body. Lymphomas like BIA-ALCL begin in cells that make up the immune system, known as lymphocytes. In this rare cancer certain lymphocytes—known as T-cells—mutate and grow out of control. This means that even though the disease and symptoms occur in the breast, BIA-ALCL is not considered to be a breast cancer, but a lymphoma.
To raise awareness for this rare, but potentially life-threatening complication we supported a recent documentary by Channel 4 Dispatches on complications after breast implants with a visualisation. Supported by Suzanne Turner of the University of Cambridge we provide here a visual of dividing lymphocytes in the liquid surrounding the implant.