Even as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is pushing for stronger warnings about the risks of textured Allergan breast implants, there are women out there who are building awareness and offering support through social media about the potentially dangerous and defective products, which could cause some women to develop a rare form of cancer. Hawaii News Now recently profiled Jayme Newhouse and Abbie Cleek who have started support groups to help women who have received these implants.
In July, Allergan issued a recall for millions of textured breast implants after they were linked to a higher risk of developing breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma or BIA-ALCL, rare cancer that has sickened hundreds of people and killed at least 33 others. Allergan agreed to recall more than 30 models of its Biocell brands of textured breast implants and tissue expanders after federal officials linked the devices to a vast majority of these cancer cases.
Women Resort to Support Groups
Now, in spite of this recall, women are having difficulty getting a proper diagnosis. As a result, many are scared, anxious, and potentially exposed to the risk of developing an advanced-stage cancer. Women have had to become their own advocates by sharing their stories in private Facebook groups to provide others affected with answers.
Newhouse said she did not experience any symptoms but decided to go through surgery to get her implants removed. She said she had no idea of the dangers these “ticking time bombs” posed. After surgery, she learned both implants had ruptured with yellow silicone inside her breasts. Her doctor told her it was probably ruptured inside her for months or perhaps, even years.
The FDA is pushing for stronger warnings from manufacturers about potential complications from breast implants including fatigue, joint pain and the possibility of developing BIA-ALCL. Cleek decided to get her implants removed as well. Even though they were not included in the recall she believes they caused her chronic fatigue and pain and left her bedridden. While Allergan is offering a free pair of implants for those who have received the recalled products, the company is not covering the cost of surgery, which could run into thousands of dollars.
If You Have Been Affected
If you or a loved one has been affected by the recalled Allergan textured breast implants, please remember that you have legal rights. You may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, cost of surgery, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to advise victims regarding their legal rights and options.