Since our previous article, Allergan Aesthetics Launches Tracking Campaign for U.S. Breast Implant Patients, recent news articles report the majority of American women are unaware of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
Studies on BIA-ALCL Knowledge
According to a July 2020 Practice Update article, 500 women participated in a survey on their baseline knowledge of BIA-ALCL. The study was conducted by Dr. Justin Sacks, Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The research found the following:
The researchers found that 12 percent of respondents had received breast implants and 73 percent knew someone with implants. Of all respondents, 13.6 percent had previously heard of BIA-ALCL; 51.7 percent of respondents with implants had previously heard of BIA-ALCL. Even after receiving information about BIA-ALCL risk, 58.4 percent of respondents were still willing to receive a reconstructive implant and 45.8 percent were willing to receive a cosmetic implant, while 35.8 percent reported they would be less likely to receive an implant. Two-thirds (66.7 percent) of the respondents with breast implants reported some degree of concern regarding BIA-ALCL, while just over one-third (35.0 percent) were strongly considering removing their implants.
Similarly, Medical XPress posted an article claiming only 1 out of every 7 American women have even heard of BIA-ALCL. Awareness only increases to just over half for those who have implants. Additionally, the article states:
Most women who had heard of BIA-ALCL got their information through the media and healthcare blogs. “Our findings suggest that professional healthcare blogs and media outlets may be the most effective way to spread knowledge, particularly to those who are not in direct contact with healthcare professionals,” Dr. Sacks and colleagues write.
Moving forward, the knowledge many women are unaware of BIA-ALCL may be crucial in guiding future education efforts. According to the same June 2020 Medical XPress article mentioned previously:
“Our findings can help surgeons navigate the risks of BIA-ALCL with current and prospective patients and can guide future public education efforts on BIA-ALCL,” Dr. Sacks and coauthors write.
Although blogs and media posts may be the most efficient form of communication about BIA-ALCL, both Allergan Aesthetics and the FDA have attempted at keeping the public informed. As mentioned in our June 2020 article, “Allergan Aesthetics Launches Tracking Campaign for U.S. Breast Implant Patients“, Allergan Aesthetics has recently launched a tracking campaign for its Biocell textured implant patients. The FDA also has a “question and answer page” about BIA-ALCL.
What Comes Next?
The lack of knowledge on BIA-ALCL, its symptoms and treatments only further demonstrates the necessity for Allergan to continue to grow and expand their tracking campaign. Many women may be at risk for BIA-ALCL and be unaware of their risk, as well as unaware of the condition itself.
As always, we will continue to monitor the worldwide issues surrounding breast implants and BIA-ALCL. We will provide you with any new or relevant information.
We encourage you to visit our Breast Implants Lymphoma Cancer page on our website for more information. Please submit a free case evaluation if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL.
Written by: Lauren Schwab, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.
Breast Implants: Lymphoma / Blood Cancer Cases Overview