According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), less than one hundred people in the United States have been diagnosed with breast implant-associated ALCL, an extremely rare cancer.
Although implant-associated ALCL is extremely rare, the FDA believes that women with breast implants may have a very small but increased risk of developing this disease in the tissue capsule the body forms around an implant over time. ALCL may also be found in the lymph nodes and the skin.
At this time, data appears to indicate that the incidence of ALCL is very low, even in breast implant patients and is estimated to be between 1 in 70,000 to 1 in 500,000. Currently, it is not possible to identify a type of breast implant (silicone, saline or polyurethane) or a reason for the implant (reconstruction versus aesthetic augmentation) that is associated with a smaller or greater risk.
Overall, lymphomas of any type that occur in the breast are rare, accounting for only 1% to 2% of all non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Most breast lymphomas have a B-cell phenotype. However, implant-associated ALCL has a T-cell phenotype.
Implant-associated ALCL tends to remain confined around the breast implant. Most patients have a good prognosis when they receive the appropriate treatment.