In Summary
  • Breast enhancement and butt lifts, for instance, cost about Sh550,000 each.
  • Cosmetic surgery has become popular in Kenya as more people with disposable income enhance their looks with implants and fillers.
  • Saline-filled and silicone-covered implants stayed on the market, but several women reported ruptures, change of shape and hardening of the breast.

Women with breast implants are at risk of getting cancer, a new study has shown.

More women with implants are increasingly being diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma and doctors may be missing the signs, according to a research published in Jama Oncology, a medical journal.

Daphne de Jong, a pathologist at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and one of the authors told the Business Daily in an e-mail interview that textured implants or those with rough surfaces pose a higher cancer risk compared to smooth ones.

RISK WARNING

‘‘We and others have also found lymphoma (cancer) associated with microtextured breast implants. Smooth implants are still somewhat under debate, but likely these bear the least risk. However, it should be noted that market shares and use of implant types have varied over the years and therefore we cannot make strong conclusions on specific risks for lymphoma with specific types,’’ she said.

The researchers who studied women aged between 24 to 68 years said, although the risks are minimal, someone considering putting silicone breast implants for cosmetic reasons or after mastectomy should be warned about the risks and symptoms of cancer.

The cancer which forms around the implant is typically slow-growing and can develop even 14 years after the surgery. Cosmetic surgery has become popular in Kenya as more people with disposable income enhance their looks with implants and fillers.

Surgeons are battling for the growing market, offering reconstruction procedures such as tummy tucks, thighs, neck, cheeks and nose reshaping.

Breast enhancement and butt lifts, for instance, cost about Sh550,000 each. Although an increased risk of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma in patients with breast prostheses has been speculated, no studies had been conducted.

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