Breast Implants Causing Cancer Should Freak Women Out

silicone breast implantsSeems to me American women have really mixed emotions about breast implants. Some of us think they're ridiculous and unnecessary, while others say getting them can have an enormously positive effect on self-esteem and body image. Either way, we all have to admit there are potential health concerns linked to phony breasts.

Consider what's going on in France, where there's major concern about a particular brand of silicone-gel filled breast implants (called Poly Implant Prothese, or PIP) that were taken off the market last year when the company misreported the type of silicon they used. Now, the French health authorities are currently trying to figure out whether or not they should suggest an estimated 30K women get their implants removed, after findings that more than 1,000 implants have ruptured, and eight women with the implants have gotten cancer.

Here's what I want to know: How is this is even a question?! And if you assume we're safer by being across the pond, think again.

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When I first read this story, I thought, "Well, this shouldn't be an issue here in the States, because we banned silicone implants ... right?" We did, actually, back in 1992, but then in 2006, the FDA changed their minds and allowed them back on the market, citing research that apparently ruled out chances they could cause cancer, lupus, and other diseases. The only way they showed any concern for potential problems down the road was by requiring that manufacturers "continue studying recipients to see how they fare long-term." In other words, meh, let women be guinea pigs, and we'll see how it goes. What the hell!?

The fact remains that silicone gel-filled implants sound like a disaster waiting to happen. If it's not going to cause cancer or another disease, chances still are that you'll have to deal with the implants rupturing. One study found that 69 percent of women with the implants had a rupture. But the FDA is basically saying, "Whatever, women know this, so they'll just go back to their docs for a re-do." Ahhh!! So scary and insane!

With hope, France gets their situation in gear and advises those 30,000 women to have their implants removed. And it seems American women with implants or contemplating getting them are on their own when it comes to figuring out what's best for them, because it doesn't seem the FDA has their best interests at heart at all.

What do you think about silicone breast implants and the associated risks?

 

Image via FDA.gov

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