Cancer survivor applauds proposed ban for textured breast implants
A woman who underwent a life-saving procedure to remove her breast implants and a rare tumour has applauded the Therapeutic Goods Administration's proposal to ban several varieties of highly-textured implants in Australia.
Anne Marie Sage is one of more than 100 Australian women who have been diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) - a cancer connected to grade three and four textured implants.
"It's definitely a bit of a shock," she told A Current Affair.
"Shock to the body, shock to the mind - I don't think anyone can really prepare themselves for that."
The cancer develops when bacteria gets trapped in the grooves of the implant's surface, leading to an infection which triggers the immune system.
It is a global issue, with various brands of highly-textured implants already banned or suspended in Canada, France and the Netherlands.
Now, Australia could be set to join the ranks.
The TGA has proposed a recall on Allergan Natrelle products, and the suspension of a further six brands of highly-textured devices, including the popular JT Medical "Polytech" and "Mentor", owned by Johnson & Johnson.
The affected companies have until July 24 to respond, before the TGA makes its final decision.
"I think it's fantastic news," Ms Sage said.
"I think it shows that in Australia they really look after their people and they really have high service, high quality, when it comes to women and their lives - so I think that is the only right decision to do."
Surgeon Professor Anand Deva has been driving the campaign to review the risk posed by highly-textured implants.
"It's consistent that every year we look at the numbers it's increased by 50 per cent," he said.
Only recently, a patient of Prof Deva's who previously survived breast cancer has been diagnosed with ALCL about seven to eight years after exposure.
Her grade three textured implants have already been removed, and she is undergoing a second reconstruction.
"She fits the group of patients that we see most commonly," Prof Deva said.
The TGA does not recommend removing implants if there is no ALCL diagnosis.
Prof Deva's advice is for people to see their surgeon if they had any concerns.
In a statement, Allergan said patient safety remained their highest priority, and they were reviewing the proposed regulatory action.
View all the details of the TGA proposal online here.
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