The world-wide investigative journalist piece on medical devices, The Implant Files, has recently uncovered information that links textured breast implants to a very rare form of blood cancer.
Textured breast implants are preferred by some women as they are believed to lower the chances of the scar tissue hardening around the breast implant, which means the implant won’t become distorted and irregularly shaped.
ABC News reports that The Implant Files has revealed serious flaws in how the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) detected problems with implants, which has led to misinformation surrounding how many cases of cancer were actually linked to the implants.
In a joint investigation, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) analysed the TGA’s publicly available databases and found that of the 72 cases in Australia that linked the implants to this rare type of cancer, only 29 made into onto the TGA database.
This lack of information and a flawed database has meant the scale of the problem has gone largely unaware by Australia’s governing body and meant women were opting for textured implants without all the facts.
According to ABC News, there were 81 cases in Australia and New Zealand linked to 110 implants, and four deaths, as of April 2018.
ABC News reports that a spokesperson for the TGA said that a regulatory action “wasn’t appropriate” as the implant is yet to be definitively linked to lymphoma.
Despite the apparent links to cancer and the wide-spread medical worry, there has been no recall of the implants at this time.