Fatigue, joint pain and the possibility of a rare type of cancer are among the increased risks that women seeking breast implants should be warned of according to an agency in the US.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed manufacturers print warnings on labels, as well as providing checklists which would spell out the risks for potential patients to consider before making any payments
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The move follows a petition from 70,000 women who demanded the FDA make warning labels a requirement.
The FDA says breast implants have been linked to a rare cancer of the immune system. The non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is generally found in the scar tissue and fluid near the implant, can spread throughout the body.
While the FDA stress that the cancer risk from implants is “considered to be low” it “is serious and can lead to death, especially if not treated promptly.”
In explaining their new recommendations, the FDA says they have “heard from many women that they are not fully informed of the risks when considering breast implants.”
“They’ve stated they need more information to facilitate meaningful conversation with their doctors and to make appropriate decisions for themselves,” the agency says.
Women’s health advocates say that the proposals are an important first step but are disappointed it is only a recommendation at this stage and not mandatory.
An estimated 313,000 breast implant surgeries were performed in the United States last year, for cosmetic reasons as well as reconstruction after breast cancer surgery.