Implant Risks Downplayed?
This is a disturbing report from Medpage about a plastic surgeons' group reportedly instructing its members to downplay the possible risk of certain breast implants used in reconstructive surgery. Remember, as you read this, that the risk of these implants causing a second rare cancer is small. "Small" however is not "zero", and I am most distressed by the apparent minimizing of possible consequences.
Here is the introduction and then a link to read more:
WASHINGTON -- Two plastic surgeon groups instructed doctors to downplay the recently discovered link between breast implants and a rare cancer when talking to patients, according to the advocacy group Public Citizen.
Two physicians with Public Citizen -- Sidney Wolfe, MD, and Michael Carome, MD -- sent a letter to FDA officials Thursday explaining that a "concerned plastic surgeon" sent them a transcript from a members-only webinar in which the presidents of the two major plastic surgery organizations told their members to downplay the risk of a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in women with breast implants.
The webinar was held on Feb. 3, a week after the FDA announced results from a review of more than 10 years of data that uncovered 34 cases of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) among women with breast implants, primarily the silicone-filled type.
The FDA cautioned that the link requires confirmation, and that it still believes FDA-approved breast implants are safe and effective.