Hundreds Of Women To Sue Over Breast Implant Cancer Scare
At least 250 women in the UK are planning to take legal action following concerns their breast implants may be linked to cancer.
Reports say women are intending to sue the clinics where they were fitted with implants manufactured by French company Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP).
French authorities are expected to formally announce today that up to 30,000 women who received a specific type of implant in France could have them taken out.
But UK regulators have insisted there is no link with cancer and there is no need for women to have them removed.
The PIP implants are filled with an unapproved gel that is believed to have been made for mattresses. Some of the implants have burst as the protective barriers are reportedly faulty.
Although some women have already had their implants replaced with no complications, others say they have been left unable to work due to a pins-and-needles sensation in their arms and hands, and constant pain.
The implants have been linked to the death of a French woman from a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), and are implicated in another seven or eight cancer cases.
In June, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said women with breast implants may have a very small but increased risk of developing ALCL. It said a literature review identified 34 cases of ALCL in women with breast implants worldwide.
The Guardian reported that at least 250 women with PIP breast implants intended to sue at least six clinics in the UK.
The Government said UK regulators had consulted experts in nine countries over the safety concerns.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had spoken to health and regulatory teams and all agreed there was no evidence of an increased risk of the disease from the implants, the Department of Health said.
A spokesman told the Press Association: "They all agreed that there was no evidence of any increase in incidents of cancer associated with PIP breast implants and no evidence of any disproportionate rupture rates. This is in line with UK findings.
"MHRA is currently advising that women with any concerns should make an appointment with their implanting surgeon and have a full discussion."
It is estimated that as many as 42,000 women in the UK could be affected by the implants, according to the MHRA. Their data also suggests around 1% of women in the UK with PIP breast implants have suffered implant failure, including rupture.
In comparison, figures from French medical regulators suggest a failure rate of around 5%.