Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL)
Breast implants have been around since 1961, with almost 35 million women worldwide having had some form of breast implant. Since 1997 we have had reports of a condition called “ Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma”. By 2020, there were 67 confirmed cases of ALCL in the UK and almost 800 cases worldwide.
Most cases of ALCL develop approximately 8 years following a breast implant operation. The most common presentation is swelling in the breast with a subsequent finding of some fluid around the implant. It is necessary to investigate symptoms and rule out a diagnosis of ALCL. This may require a combination of scans (ultrasound and MRI) and checking the fluid or capsule for the marker CD30. If ALCL is suspected or confirmed, removal of the breast implant needs to be considered.