Lymphomas Associated with Breast Implants: A Review of the Literature

Asha Rupani, James D Frame, Dia Kamel
Aesthetic Surgery Journal 2015, 35 (5): 533-44

BACKGROUND: Recently there have been concerns raised about anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) associated with breast implants.

OBJECTIVES: The main aim of this article was to review and analyze the published literature specifically for hematopoietic malignancies associated with breast implants and postulate a hypothesis for their etiology and pathogenesis.

METHODS: The PubMed database was searched using key words "lymphoma" and "breast implants" for published papers and abstracts on implant-associated hematopoietic malignancies.

RESULTS: The authors found 83 published cases reported of lymphomas associated with breast implants in the medical literature. The reported cases involved various subtypes of lymphomas and the majority were ALCL, of which 66 were confirmed as ALK negative; however there was no association with any particular type of implant. The more aggressive cases and reported low death rate appeared to be related to the presence of breast masses at the time of presentation rather than effusion. The remaining reports were occasional case reports of T-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, marginal zone B-cell lymphoma, primary effusion lymphoma and lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma.

CONCLUSIONS: Considering the many thousands of women that have breast implants every year; the compiled data show that there is a very small risk of developing lymphoma. Increased awareness of association between implants and ALCL is needed globally and prospective patients considering breast implants should be fully informed of the risk. As the behavior of ALCL in these cases was indolent as compared with other primary breast lymphomas, it could suggest an abnormal reactive process.


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