France Calls For Breast Implant Removal
The French government has called for 30,000 women in France to remove the implants at the state's expense because they could rupture and cause inflammation and irritation. Standard mammograms and ultrasounds do not always detect that an implant has ruptured.
Britain issued conflicting advice for women who received the French-produced breast implants made of cheap, industrial silicone, Reuters reported.
Britain's Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies said that the 30,000 to 40,000 British women "with PIP implants should not be unduly worried. We have no evidence of a link to cancer or an increased risk of rupture. If women are concerned they should speak to their surgeon."
Davies said that removing implants carries risks in itself.
France's health minister Xavier Bertrand said the mass removals were "preventive" and not urgent, the Associated Press reported. French health officials have found no link so far between the implants and nine cases of cancer among women implanted with them.
Though no link to cancer has been found, concerns rose last month after the death of a French woman who had PIP implants and developed a rare cancer.
Chantal Guerin, 46, had her left breast removed after cancer and had PIP implants put in both breasts, the AP reported. In 2010, she developed cancer in her right breast.
"One cannot directly incriminate the implant, since there is no scientific proof," Guerin told the AP. "But we have the right to ask ourselves a lot of questions, because there is a great amount of physical pain involved."
According to the AP, all breast implants are subject to rupture, especially as they get older. The PIP implants have raised concerns because officials said they're particularly fragile and may rupture earlier than other implants. Officials also don't know if the silicone gel used poses a risk to internal organs.
PIP was founded by former butcher Jean-Claude Mas. The implants were made of industrial silicone rather than medical silicone to save money. The company produced more than 100,000 implants a year for nearly two decades before its products were pulled from the market in 2010. The company is being liquidated.
The implants were not just sold in France and Britain. Tens of thousands more women throughout Europe including Italy, Spain, Portugal and South American countries have received PIP implants. They were not sold in the U.S.
According to the AP, the French government recommends that women who choose not to have PIP implants removed be examined every six months.
Reach executive producer Agnus Dei Farrant here.
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