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Mother describes how her breast implants gave her cancer

A mother-of-three claims her breast implants gave her cancer, and said her insurer would not pay to have them removed.

Kimra Rogers, 50, who lives in Caldwell, Idaho, was diagnosed with lymphoma in May 2016. 

To her horror, she was told the cancer was likely caused by her breast implants, which took her from a small B-cup to a large C-cup, that she had done 14 years earlier.

Although there are now schools of research explaining the links, Kimra claims she was never told about the risk when she went to have the procedure done.

The specific disease is called breast implant associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), and according to the FDA it can develop from a certain type of breast implant.

'I remember telling my doctor: "They never once told me it would be a possibility I could get cancer if I got these implants",' Kimra told Daily Mail Online. 

Kimra Rogers, 50 (pictured in radiation treatment) was diagnosed with lymphoma in May 2016

Kimra Rogers, 50 (pictured in radiation treatment) was diagnosed with lymphoma in May 2016

To her horror, she was told the cancer was likely caused by implants she had done 14 years earlier

Kimra Rogers is pictured after her cancer diagnosis on the road to recovery

To her horror, she was told the cancer was likely caused by implants she had done 14 years ago

Dr Mark Clemens, a plastic surgeon at the Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, told Daily Mail Online that the cancer, while very rare, is much more common than people previously believed.

He has studied the disease since the FDA first released a warning about in 2011, and said it is most commonly found between eight and ten years after the augmentation surgery. 

'Eighty percent of individuals experience a large fluid collection and expansion of the breast. Only a few feel a mass or swollen lymph node under their armpit,' he explained. 

Dr Clemens also said it's important to note that BIA-ALCL is not a breast cancer, but instead a cancer in the scar tissue around the implant.  

Implants are made with either a smooth or textured outer surface, and surgeons sometimes use the rougher option to limit its movement in the patient's body.

Lymphoma is a long sustained stimulation of the immune system, he explained, where the T-cell (part of the immune system) begins to replicate abnormally. 

'It's almost like a prolonged allergic reaction that, if the patient is genetically susceptible, can turn into cancer,' Dr Clemens explained.  

He also said that there are is no way to screen for the disease, but that it is something he thinks all women should be aware of. '

All surgery carries risk. But patients must be properly informed about what those risks are if they are to make a decision on whether to go ahead with it,' he said.

When a patient has been diagnosed with this cancer, it has a high cure rate, with the most important aspect being taking the implants out. 

In May Kimra was told she had stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma, which her doctor said he believed may have been caused by her breast implants. She is pictured during her third of five bouts of chemotherapy

In May Kimra was told she had stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma, which her doctor said he believed may have been caused by her breast implants. She is pictured during her third of five bouts of chemotherapy

Kimra then underwent six rounds of chemo and 25 rounds of radiation, spanning many months and finally ending in February. She is pictured on her final day of receiving chemotherapy 

Kimra then underwent six rounds of chemo and 25 rounds of radiation, spanning many months and finally ending in February. She is pictured on her final day of receiving chemotherapy 

FIRST DIAGNOSED WITH THE WRONG CANCER - FOR WHICH SHE ENDURED MONTHS OF TREATMENT 

In Kimra's case, things weren't so simple, partially because she was initially diagnosed with the wrong kind of lymphoma, and in part because her insurers refused to cover the procedure because it was considered to be cosmetic.

WHAT IS BREAST IMPLANT-ASSOCIATED ANAPLASTIC LARGE CELL LYMPHOMA?

Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a rare but treatable cancer that develops around breast implants. 

Most patients are declared cancer free very soon after having breast implants and the surrounding scar tissue removed. Surgical treatment is essential to the management of the disease.

Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a rare but treatable cancer that develops around breast implants (stock image)

Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a rare but treatable cancer that develops around breast implants (stock image)

There were 359 medical cases of the disease reported as of February 1, 2017, and of those 126 were confirmed in the United States. 

It most frequently occurs in women who had a type of implant put in that has a textured surface. 

The cancer starts when, in a genetically susceptible patient, there is a long sustained stimulation of the immune system. That then causes an abnormal replication of T-cells, which are a part of the immune system. 

The overall survival rate for patients with BIA-ALCL is 89 percent five years after being declared cancer free. 

Information provided by the FDA 

 

'I first went to doctors in 2015 when I started experiencing skin changes. Naturally I have very oily skin, I had to wash my hair every day it was so oily, but then as if overnight it got very dry,' she explained. 

The mother-of-three said if she did not put moisturizer on multiple times a day, her skin would crack and bleed. 

'Then about six months later my hair started falling out, and I was putting oil on my scalp. It was like I had dandruff but also large chunks of my hair would fall out in addition to the flaky skin,' she said. 

Kimra went to a host of doctors and dermatologists who couldn't tell her what was happening.

Then she found the lump. 

'On April 5, 2016, I was shaving my underarms and felt a large lump, the size of an egg. I went to the doctors and got blood work done

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