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Breast Implant Cancer Lawsuits

FDA warns of ALCL cancer from breast implants - lawyers are helping those affected.

Have you developed ALCL cancer after a breast augmentation?
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Frequently Asked

FAQs About the Breast Implant Cancer Litigation
breast implant cancer lawsuit
1. What is the FDA Breast Implant Cancer Warning?

On March 21, 2017 the FDA issued a new warning about breast implants and the dangerous link to a rare form or cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). The risk was first identified in 2011, but the agency cited the need for more information at that time before it could characterize the disease.

The FDA stated the new warning came after it received more than 350 reports of ALCL diagnosis, and 9 deaths, among breast implant patients in recent years. However, they cautioned that the overall risk is still rare, since more than 300,000 women undergo breast augmentation surgery each year.

The reported cases of ALCL were more common in those with textured implants, as well as those with silicone implants, but was present in smooth and saline-filled versions as well.

2. What is ALCL and what are the symptoms?

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma characterized by the rapid multiplying of abnormal white blood cells. Despite being located around the breasts, it is not breast cancer.

The current risk is estimated to be 1 in 30,000 for those in the U.S. and Europe with breast implants, and as high as 1 in 1,000 for those in Australia and New Zealand.

ALCL can take approximately 8-10 years to develop after breast augmentation. Unlike normal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, however, which concentrates in the neck, armpits or groin, ALCL typically remains in the area of the implant.

The World Health Organization and FDA have stated ALCL is highly treatable if discovered early. Left untreated, however, it can spread quickly with fatal results. ALCL is usually treated by removing the affected implant and capsule, as well as chemotherapy or radiation in some cases.

The symptoms of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) include:

  • Breast pain
  • Swollen breast
  • Lumps on the breast
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes

While the FDA says women with breast implants do not need to change their medical care, they should monitor for and report any symptoms to their doctor.

3. Why are patients filing lawsuits against breast implant manufacturers?

The breast implant industry, worth nearly $650 million each year, has been linked with health concerns for decades. In 2006, the FDA lifted a 14-year ban on many of these devices, and companies have increased sales since.

Doctors first identified a link between breast implants and ALCL cancer in 1997. In 2011, the FDA and World Health Organization identified a more definite risk. However, none of the products have been recalled since that time.

The treatment costs, pain and health risks of cancer such as anaplastic large cell lymphoma can be substantial for those affected.

Due to the manufacturers’ continued sales of these dangerous products, and failure to properly warn patients of the risks, they are liable to those affected. Lawyers are currently helping those diagnosed with ALCL file lawsuits.

4. How do you qualify for a Breast Implant Cancer Lawsuit?

Anyone who has been diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) after undergoing breast implant surgery, or survivors of someone who has died from the disease, may qualify.

In both cases, potential claimants should learn their legal options as soon as possible before the expiration of their statute of limitations. Those who qualify may be entitled to substantial compensation. A lawyer can review your case and find out if you qualify at no cost to you. Contact DrugNews today in order to speak directly with a lawyer.

5. Is there a Breast Implant Cancer Class Action Lawsuit?

No. So far, no one has filed a class action lawsuit for breast implant cancer. Instead, lawyers are filing individual cases for those injured in different court districts. Since the FDA warning could affect thousand of patients, a large number of claims are expected.

Lawyers expect hundreds or even thousands of women who have been diagnosed with ALCL may come forward to file lawsuits. In this case, the claims are usually moved to one dedicated court venue, called a multidistrict litigation (MDL) court, for faster handling.

MDL courts have many of the benefits of class action lawsuits, without binding plaintiffs to one law firm that they didn’t choose. Also, victims can make more decisions on their individual cases, and often receive more compensation than participants in a class action.

6. How much are Breast Implant Cancer Lawsuits worth?

Like any lawsuit, the value of each breast implant lawsuit is different. It can depend on many factors like the stage of cancer, the extent and duration of treatment needed, the patient’s age, whether surgery, chemotherapy or radiation is necessary, and whether they pass away.

Based on the severity and risk of death associated with any cancer, lawyers expect these lawsuits will seek compensation into the millions of dollars in some cases.

7. How long does it take to file a Breast Implant Cancer Lawsuit? What is involved?

Finding out if you qualify and filing a claim is much easier than you may expect. You can contact DrugNews by live chat, email or phone, and be talking to a lawyer today at no cost. They will ask a few simple questions to see if your case qualifies for further investigation.

After you have agreed to let a lawyer specializing in breast implant litigation represent you, they will obtain your medical records and other pieces of evidence to file a lawsuit. The time to prepare your case for trial or settlement can take 12-24 months, and is subject to dates set by the court.

However, your lawyer will in most cases appear for you so no travel is necessary. And, there is no cost to you unless you receive compensation.

A detailed look

Breast Implant ALCL Cancer Lawsuits
Mize v. Mentor Worldwide, et al, Case No. BC-649083, California Superior Court (Los Angeles)

A suit filed on February 2, 2017 by Rexine Mize of Los Angeles, CA alleges she suffered severe pain, nausea, skin rashes and fatigue due to leaks in her silicone breast impants made by Mentor and Johnson & Johnson.

Ms. Mize claims the company failed to properly test the risks of leaks as required by the government.

Ebrahimi v. Mentor Worldwide, et al., United States District Court (San Francisco)

This lawsuit was filed in September of 2016 by Sara Ebrahimi, a resident of Seattle who claims her MemoryGel silicone breast implants made by Mentor and Johnson & Johnson caused her skin rashes, extreme fatigue and metallic poisoning in her bloodstream.

The suit claims the silicone from the implants leaked into the patient’s bloodstream.

Class Action v. Dow Corning Corporation

In 1992, the Dow Corning Corporation, facing public and governmental pressure, discontinued 5 models of its silicone-based breast implants. However, they continued producing 45 other silicone medical products. Dow eventually faced over 200,000 lawsuits alleging sickness from breast implants. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1995.

BREAST IMPLANT CANCER LAWSUITS BY THE NUMBERS

RATE OF WOMEN WHO WILL NEED IMPLANTS REMOVED IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS ACCORDING TO FDA - 20 PERCENT
AVERAGE TIME IT TAKES FOR ALCL CANCER TO DEVELOP - 10 YEARS
FDA REPORTS OF ALCL CANCER FROM BREAST IMPLANTS - 359 REPORTS
ESTIMATED NUMBER OF BREAST IMPLANT SURGERIES EACH YEAR - 300,000

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The Timeline

Breast Implant Lawsuits
21
MAR 2017

The FDA issues the latest warning about the link between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) after receiving more than 350 reports of ALCL diagnosis or death among breast implant patients in recent years.

20
dec 2016

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration estimates as many as 1 in 1,000 women in the country with breast implants will develop anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), after 46 cases are diagnosed.

5
july 2016

The French Medicines Agency gives breast implant manufacturers 12 months to prove their products are safe or have them banned, after stating there is a “clear link” between breast implants and cancer.

1
june 2011

The FDA reports approximately 20% of women who received cosmetic silicone breast implants, and 50% of those who received them after a mastectomy, will need to have them removed within 10 years.

15
jan 2011

The FDA first identifies a possible link between breast implants and the rare cancer anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), but states more information is necessary.

17
nov 2006

The FDA approves silicone breast implants from Mentor, Allergan and Sientra after a 14-year ban on the devices.

1
jan 1997

Doctors first describe breast implant-based anaplastic large cell lymphoma as a concentration of seroma fluid between the implant and surrounding fibrous capsule.

15
may 1995

Facing hundreds of thousands of lawsuits from women claiming sickness or cancer from its breast implants, Dow Corning Corp. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

19
mar 1992

Dow Corning withdraws from the silicone breast implant market, but continues to sell silicone to other breast implant companies.

6
jan 1992

The FDA orders the stop of all production and selling of silicone-filled breast implants in the United States due to “inadequate information to demonstrate that breast implants were safe and effective”.

1988

The FDA begins an investigation into breast implant failures and side effects, and reclassifies the products as Class III medical devices. Manufacturers are subsequently required to submit data showing the safety and efficacy of their breast implants.

1964

French company Laboratoires Arion develops and begins selling the first saline-filled breast implant.

1961

The Dow Corning Corporation, along with American doctors Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin, develop the first self-contained silicone breast implants.

1895

The first recorded breast augmentation through implant placement is performed by surgeon Vincenz Czerny, who used body fat to repair a breast affected by tumor.

BREAST IMPLANT BRANDS

It is estimated that worldwide, there are between 5 and 10 million women with breast implants. At present, there are around 13 companies that supply this multi-billion dollar market. In the United States, the majority of implants are sold by Allergan, Mentor and Sientra.

Other breast implant brands include:

SHOULD YOU SPEAK WITH A BREAST IMPLANT CANCER LAWYER?

If you or someone you know has developed anaplastic large cell lymphoma after receiving breast implants, it is important to speak with a lawyer about your rights. You may be eligible for substantial compensation.

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that causes rapid multiplying of abnormal white blood cells around the breasts. It can take from 8-10 years to develop after breast implant surgery. Although ALCL is highly treatable if discovered early, it can spread and be fatal if left untreated.

Lawyers are now pursuing lawsuits against several breast implant manufacturers due to their failure to properly identify the cancer dangers or warn patients. These cases are likely to be consolidated in special courts, therefore, it is important to select a lawyer with substantial experience in mass tort defective device litigation.

DrugNews works only with lawyers that specialize in medical device injury cases such as these, and have handled thousands nationwide. Contact us today to speak with a lawyer at no charge.