Women reassured over breast implant fears

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Regulators are seeking to reassure up to 50,000 British women amid concerns that their breast implants may be linked to a small number of cancer cases.

French authorities will formally announce tomorrow that up to 30,000 women who received a specific type of implant in France can have them taken out.

But the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said there is no evidence to support removal of the implants, manufactured by Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP).

The implants have been linked to the death of a French woman from a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), and are implicated in another seven or eight cancer cases.

The implants are filled with an unapproved gel and there have been reports that the protective barriers are faulty.

PIP has since closed and more than 2,000 women have filed legal complaints.

The MHRA said that its own testing last year revealed no evidence of a link with cancer.

It said it had received no reports of ALCL linked with breast implants in the UK, adding: “Discussions with the relevant UK professional bodies have not identified any cases.”

And it said there was no evidence to support women having the implants removed.

“The MHRA has reviewed available evidence for association of cancers for women with breast implants in consultation with the relevant UK professional bodies for breast surgery and surgical oncology and has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to indicate any association with cancer.

“Additionally, the MHRA worked with the cancer registry and could find no evidence for any association.”

The MHRA said concerned women should seek clinical advice from the surgeon who carried out their operation.