Flawed French implant affects thousands
The National Cancer Institute in France announced that it will decide on December 23 what to recommend to women that have used breast implants produced by the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) company.
“Today, we’re in the process of evaluating these breast implants because of the apparent cancer risk,” said government spokeswoman Valerie Pecresse. “The government will announce its action plan between now and the end of the week.”
French Society of Plastic Surgeons found last year that PIP implants had higher rates of rupture than other implants.
Investigations showed that the company had used an unauthorized silicone gel in its product, which was associated with ruptures and higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Nine cancer cases, including one death, have been reported among women with PIP implants, but health authorities say there is no urgent risk since studies have not yet found a causal link between the implants and cancer risk.
However, French health officials have called on all women with PIP implants in the country to visit their surgeon, adding that costs of removal would be covered by state health insurance.
So far 523 women have already removed the implants and 2,000 have opened a criminal investigation into the firm that was shut down and its product banned since last year.
The French-manufactured PIP breast implants, which are one of the cheapest of its kind, were reportedly exported to other countries, and it is estimated that nearly 300,000 women around the world have received them.