French health authorities said Wednesday they would review the safety of a popular type of breast implant which has been linked to a rare form of cancer.
Since 2011, the National Agency for Medicines and Health Products has been tracking anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA- ALCL) in wearers of breast implants.
In a statement Wednesday it said had recorded 53 cases of the disease, with an “over-representation of textured breast implants in cases of BIA-ALCL”.
Some 85 percent of French implant wearers have implants with a textured surface, which adhere to the breast tissue, in order to avoid slipping out of position.
The agency said it would invite implant wearers, health professionals and other concerned parties to give testimony during two days of hearings in early February before making a ruling on the safety of the implants.
“In the meantime, the ANSM recommends that health professionals rather use implants with a smooth surface,” it said.
Breast implants are used for cosmetic reasons, in breast enhancements, or for reconstructive purposes after a mastectomy.
France was at the centre of a major scandal involving implants in 2010 after it emerged that the maker of a popular brand of implants had been filling them with a cheap industrial-grade silicone gel, which was more dangerous for wearers than medical-grade silicone.
The company, Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), was shut down and its founder Jean-Claude Mas was sentenced to four years in prison for fraud.
In a March 2017 report, the US Food and Drug Administration found that women with breast implants had a “very low but increased risk” of developing anaplastic large-cell lymphoma compared to women who did not have them.
Of the 359 cases of BIA-ALCL reported in the US, 203 were found in wearers of textured implants compared with 28 in wearers of smooth implants, the report said.