France: Some Breast Implants in Question, Brits Say No Issues

Posted December 21st, 2011 at 9:40 am (UTC-5)
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Around 30,000 women in France and possibly tens of thousands more around the world are facing the prospect of needing to have defective breast implants removed after several suspicious cases of cancer.

Health officials said Tuesday that the implants were made by the Poly Implant Prothese company. The company's implants were taken off the market after it was discovered they were made with a silicone gel that did not comply with medical regulations.

In addition to the 30,000 women in France, the president of the PIP support group, Alexandra Blachere, says many other women around the world may be affected.

“It's not just France that's concerned. PIP was ranked third in the world, and 87 percent was exported. So we're looking at 300,000 to 400,000 potential victims in the world.”

The British health products regulator MHRA says there is no relationship between breast cancer and the implants. The agency suggests women contact their doctor for advice.

Professor Laurent Lantieri, a leading plastic surgeon who is on a committee set up to investigate the implants, said women would be able to see their surgeons to discuss having the implants removed.

“Progressively, we will put in place what is needed so that all the patients can be called in by their surgeon and if they wish, they can be explanted.”

A decision by French authorities on whether to order the implants to be removed is expected Friday, after the National Cancer Institute releases its report.