Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
A rare deadly cancer associated with breast implants has now killed nine women, health officials have warned.
A further 448 have been diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) which forms in the scar capsule around the implant, the US Food and Drug Administration's Dr Binita Ashar said Wednesday.
The amount of women diagnosed with BIA-ALCL - which kills cells in the immune system and normally begins with pain and swelling in the breast - shot up from 414 cases in the last 12 months and 359 the year before that.
The report comes just over a month before the FDA is set to officially review the safety of silicone breast implants in a committee hearing.
At least 457 women have been diagnosed with a deadly cancer which forms in the scar capsule around breast implants
There have been more than 600 cases of the rare cancer reported worldwide and 16 deaths.
The FDA said that while breast implants were not the only cause of BIA-ALCL, women that have the surgery are at an increased risk of diagnosis.
'We hope that this information prompts providers and patients to have important, informed conversations about breast implants and the risk of BIA-ALCL,' Dr. Ashar said in the statement.
The majority of ALCL cases have been linked to textured breast implants as opposed to smooth implants.
Smooth implants are softer than their textured counterparts, allowing for a more natural look and feel - but may lead to slightly visible rippling and shifting in position over time.
Textured breast implants tend to stick to the body's tissue, helping them stay in the same position over time.
The textured implants have become increasingly popular because women don't have to worry about getting the implant re-positioned.
However, the majority of ALCL cases have been linked to the textured devices.
In December, France's National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products recalled its textured implants after it failed a safety approval.
Of those, nine have died as a result of the cancer, which kills cells in the immune system and normally begins with pain and swelling in the breast
The FDA has issued a warning letter to surgeons highlighting the link between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
'We want all healthcare providers to be aware ... particularly in patients with new swelling, lumps, or pain around breast implants, to expedite diagnosis of this malignancy,' the letter said, according to CNN.
'When breast implants are placed in the body, they are inserted behind the breast tissue or under the chest muscle.
'Over time, a fibrous scar called a capsule develops around the implant, separating it from the rest of the breast.
'In patients with breast implants, reported cases of BIA-ALCL were generally found adjacent to the implant itself and contained within the fibrous capsule.'