Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare disease whose incidence has increased recently; this increase may be related to the expanding popularity of textured breast implants. Some breast cancer patients who have mastectomy may question whether the advantages of receiving reconstructive implants outweigh the possibility of having a second cancer in light of this trend.
The study was published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
A new Columbia study should make many women's decisions easier. The study found that the risk of developing ALCL after reconstructive surgery is extremely low: Each year, about 12 cases are expected to occur per 1 million women who've had reconstructive surgery.
"The risk of developing ALCL is actually much lower than the risk of experiencing a relapse of breast cancer," says lead author Connor J. Kinslow, MD, a resident in radiation oncology at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Women who have had one cancer are understandably nervous about having a second," Kinslow said. "But that shouldn't necessarily put them off from having reconstructive implants. For many women, breast reconstruction after mastectomy is extremely important to quality of life, and women should feel comfortable going ahead with implants without adding to the psychological burdens that come with a breast cancer diagnosis