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Posted on 10 May 2021
Clinical/acute care

Important information for people who have breast implants

Please be vigilant for symptoms including a lump on your breast, unexplained swelling on one side or an accumulation of fluid around the implant.

While the risk is low, these may be signs of a rare form of cancer called breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

Please speak to your GP immediately if you notice a change, as this cancer is highly curable if diagnosed and treated early.

For more information about who is most at risk, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment:

If you don’t have symptoms, there is no need to remove your implants. Removal of implants, as well as the use of anaesthetics, comes with a surgical risk.

Advice for people considering breast implants

Some breast implants have been associated with a higher risk of BIA-ALCL. 

Speak with your surgeon about the risks and which implants are best for you.

Read more advice from the TGA 

Advice for GPs and surgeons

Please be alert for symptoms in patients who have had breast implants at any point in their life. This can affect younger patients you may not normally consider a cancer diagnosis for.

Advise all patients with breast implants to become familiar with the usual features of their breasts and conduct regular self-examination, as they would for routine breast cancer awareness.

Encourage them to immediately contact you if there is any change in size, shape or symptoms related to the breast and/or implant.

Download our clinician fact sheet 

Download a fact sheet to give to your patients

Updated advice from the Therapeutic Goods Administration

The TGA has decided to suspend the sales of a range of textured breast implants and tissue expanders. This is due to their link with BIA-ALCL. 

Read more about the recall action and the risk to patients 

Page last updated: 10 May 2021