The 30-year fight for breast implant safety

Breast implants are 60 years old, and we are still fighting about whether they are safe or not

Sybil Goldrich and Jamee Cook both suffered after getting breast implants, Sybil in 1983 and Jamee in 1998. Together, they are fighting regulators to get more information to people considering getting breast implants.

ICIJfights corruption with the world’s best cross-border watchdog journalism by over 160 investigative reporters in 60+ countries. The home of Offshore Leaks.”

L’agence du médicament retire du marché des implants mammaires

L’ANSM rappelle sa recommandation d’utiliser de préférence des implants mammaires lisses en chirurgie esthétique ou reconstructrice

Communiqué ANSM

Depuis l’apparition en 2011 des premiers cas de lymphomes anaplasiques à grandes cellules associés aux implants mammaires (LAGC-AIM), l’Agence nationale du médicament et des produits de santé (ANSM) a mené de nombreuses investigations afin d’étudier le lien entre la survenue de cas de LAGC et la texture des implants mammaires.

Au regard de l’ensemble des informations dont elle dispose, dont des avis d’experts indépendants, l’ANSM considère que la texturation de certains implants macrotexturés et implants à surface recouverte de polyuréthane constitue un facteur de risque dans l’apparition de LAGC-AIM.

Ainsi, l’ANSM prend la décision, par mesure de précaution, de retirer du marché ces implants afin de réduire l’exposition des femmes au risque de LAGC qui reste un risque rare mais grave.Compte tenu de la rareté de ce risque, l’ANSM ne recommande pas d’explantation préventive pour les femmes porteuses de ces implants.

L’ANSM met en place le numéro vert 0.800.71.02.35 pour répondre aux interrogations des patientes. Celles-ci sont également invitées à consulter un professionnel de santé en cas de questions complémentaires.

Compte tenu de la rareté du risque de survenue de LAGC-AIM et de l’avis du CSST, l’ANSM ne recommande pas d’explantation préventive des implants macrotexturés et des implants à surface recouverte de polyuréthane.

Liste des implants mammaires concernés par la décision de l’ANSM

En Savoir Plus

Primodos Drug Cover-Up : Yasmin Qureshi MP Talks, 2017

Yasmin Qureshi explains one possible reason for the Primodos cover-up

Yasmin Qureshi MP gives one reason Primodos drug problems that potentially deformed and killed babies might have been covered up.

More information

40 years after exposure, Pesticide linked to higher breast cancer risk

DDT and Breast Cancer: Prospective Study of Induction Time and Susceptibility Windows

According to a recent study, DDT exposure before puberty may have increased the breast cancer risk for women in their 50s. Study is the latest to suggest early-life exposures, even prior to birth, may hold the key to understanding who gets diseases, Environmental Health News reports.

2019 Study Abstract

In a previous Child Health and Development Studies report, p, p’-DDT was associated with a fivefold increased risk of premenopausal (before age 50 years) breast cancer for women first exposed before puberty. Here we extend our observation to breast cancer diagnosed during early postmenopause (ages 50–54 years) to determine whether age at diagnosis modifies the interaction of DDT with age at exposure.

We conducted a second prospective, nested case-control study in the Child Health and Development Studies (153 incident breast cancer cases diagnosed at ages 50–54 years and 432 controls matched to cases on birth year). These were analyzed separately and pooled with our previous study (129 breast cancer cases diagnosed at ages 31–49 years and 129 controls matched on birth year). Blood samples were obtained during pregnancy (median age, 26 years), 1–3 days after delivery from 1959 to 1967 in Oakland, California. Serum was assayed for p, p’-DDT, o, p’-DDT, and p, p’-DDE. Odds ratios (ORs) below are given for doubling of serum p, p’-DDT. All statistical tests were two-sided.

For early postmenopausal breast cancer, p, p’-DDT was associated with risk for all women (ORDDT 50–54 = 1.99, 95% CI = 1.48 to 2.67). This association was accounted for by women first exposed to DDT after infancy (ORDDT 50–54 for first exposure after infancy = 2.83, 95% CI = 1.96 to 4.10 vs ORDDT 50–54 for first exposure during infancy = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.26 to 1.19; Pinteraction DDT x age at first exposure = .01). In contrast, for premenopausal breast cancer, p, p’-DDT was associated with risk among women first exposed during infancy through puberty, but not after (ORDDT<50 for first exposure during infancy = 3.70, 95% CI = 1.22 to 11.26, Pinteraction DDT x age at first exposure x age at diagnosis = .03).

p, p’-DDT was associated with breast cancer through age 54 years. Risk depended on timing of first exposure and diagnosis age, suggesting susceptibility windows and an induction period beginning in early life. DDT appears to be an endocrine disruptor with responsive breast targets from in utero to menopause.

Detecting cervical precancer and reaching underscreened women by using HPV testing on self samples: updated meta-analyses

hrHPV testing with an appropriate assay offers a promising new strategy that could increase population coverage substantially

What is already known on this topic

  • Tests performed on self samples are less sensitive and less specific than tests performed on clinician samples when using a high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) assay based on signal amplification
  • Response rates for hrHPV testing are higher for self sampling kits than for conventional invitations

What this study adds

  • Tests performed on self samples are similarly sensitive and slightly less specific than tests performed on clinician samples when using a hrHPV assay based on polymerase chain reaction
  • Response rates for hrHPV testing continue to be higher for self sampling kits than for conventional invitations

2018 Study Abstract

To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) assays on self samples and the efficacy of self sampling strategies to reach underscreened women.

Updated meta-analysis.

Data sources
Medline (PubMed), Embase, and CENTRAL from 1 January 2013 to 15 April 2018 (accuracy review), and 1 January 2014 to 15 April 2018 (participation review).

Review methods
Accuracy review: hrHPV assay on a vaginal self sample and a clinician sample; and verification of the presence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse (CIN2+) by colposcopy and biopsy in all enrolled women or in women with positive tests. Participation review: study population included women who were irregularly or never screened; women in the self sampling arm (intervention arm) were invited to collect a self sample for hrHPV testing; women in the control arm were invited or reminded to undergo a screening test on a clinician sample; participation in both arms was documented; and a population minimum of 400 women.

56 accuracy studies and 25 participation trials were included. hrHPV assays based on polymerase chain reaction were as sensitive on self samples as on clinician samples to detect CIN2+ or CIN3+ (pooled ratio 0.99, 95% confidence interval 0.97 to 1.02). However, hrHPV assays based on signal amplification were less sensitive on self samples (pooled ratio 0.85, 95% confidence interval 0.80 to 0.89). The specificity to exclude CIN2+ was 2% or 4% lower on self samples than on clinician samples, for hrHPV assays based on polymerase chain reaction or signal amplification, respectively. Mailing self sample kits to the woman’s home address generated higher response rates to have a sample taken by a clinician than invitation or reminder letters (pooled relative participation in intention-to-treat-analysis of 2.33, 95% confidence interval 1.86 to 2.91). Opt-in strategies where women had to request a self sampling kit were generally not more effective than invitation letters (relative participation of 1.22, 95% confidence interval 0.93 to 1.61). Direct offer of self sampling devices to women in communities that were underscreened generated high participation rates (>75%). Substantial interstudy heterogeneity was noted (I2>95%).

When used with hrHPV assays based on polymerase chain reaction, testing on self samples was similarly accurate as on clinician samples. Offering self sampling kits generally is more effective in reaching underscreened women than sending invitations. However, since response rates are highly variable among settings, pilots should be set up before regional or national roll out of self sampling strategies.

Whereas accuracy of new combinations of assays and self sampling devices can be evaluated in a diagnostic setting, acceptance and participation should be shown locally in a screening setting before general roll out.

Pas de glyphosate dans ma Teucha !!!

Les tampons et serviettes hygiéniques contiennent toujours des résidus chimiques

De nouvelles analyses mettent en évidence la présence récurrente de pesticides et de phtalates dans les protections périodiques féminines malgré les dernières recommandations officielles.

  • Le Billet de Sophia Aram, franceinter, 25 février 2019.
  • Tampons et serviettes : connaître la composition, c’est coton ! 60millions-mag, 2019/02/21.
  • Tampons et protections féminines : un rapport ni alarmant ni rassurant, 60millions-mag, 2018/07/20.
  • Tampons et protections féminines : une réglementation s’impose ! 60millions-mag, 2016/02/23.

US FDA Breast Implant Postapproval Studies

Largest-Ever Study Shows Silicone Breast Implants Associated with Rare Diseases

In the largest study of long-term safety outcomes for patients with breast implants, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have found that silicone implants are associated with some rare diseases, autoimmune disorders and other conditions.


To analyze the long-term safety and efficacy outcomes of patients with breast implants.

Summary Background Data:
Research is ongoing regarding the safety of silicone breast implants. Despite the number of patients with breast implants followed by United States Food and Drug Administration large postapproval studies (LPAS), this database has not been thoroughly analyzed or reported.

This is a multicentered, cohort study. LPAS prospectively monitor long-term implant-related outcomes and systemic harms for silicone/saline implants from 2 manufacturers (Allergan and Mentor) placed for primary/revision augmentation/reconstruction. Systemic harms, self-harm, and reproductive outcomes are compared with normative data. Implant-related complications are analyzed by implant composition and operative indication in the short and long terms.

LPAS data includes 99,993 patients, 56% of implants were silicone for primary augmentation. Long-term magnetic resonance imaging surveillance is under 5%. Compared with normative data, silicone implants are associated with higher rates of Sjogren syndrome (Standardized incidence ratio [SIR]8.14), scleroderma (SIR 7.00), rheumatoid arthritis (SIR5.96), stillbirth (SIR4.50), and melanoma (SIR3.71). One case of BI-ALCL is reported. There is no association with suicide. In the short term, rupture is higher for saline (2.5% vs. 0.5%, P < 0.001), and capsular contracture higher for silicone (5.0% vs. 2.8%, P < 0.001). At 7 years, reoperation rate is 11.7% for primary augmentation, and 25% for primary/revision reconstruction. Capsular contracture (III/IV) occurs in 7.2% of primary augmentations, 12.7% primary reconstructions, and is the most common reason for reoperation among augmentations.

This is the largest study of breast implant outcomes. Silicone implants are associated with an increased risk of certain rare harms; associations need to be further analyzed with patient-level data to provide conclusive evidence. Long-term safety and implant-related outcomes should inform patient and surgeon decision-making when selecting implants.

Reference. Press release.

Air pollution linked to higher risk of miscarriage

Acute effects of air pollutants on spontaneous pregnancy loss: a case-crossover study

2019 Study Abstract

To investigate the relationship between acute exposure to air pollutants and spontaneous pregnancy loss.

Case-crossover study from 2007 to 2015.

An academic emergency department in the Wasatch Front area of Utah.

A total of 1,398 women who experienced spontaneous pregnancy loss events.


Main Outcome Measure(s)
Odds of spontaneous pregnancy loss.

We found that a 10-ppb increase in 7-day average levels of nitrogen dioxide was associated with a 16% increase in the odds of spontaneous pregnancy loss (odds ratio [OR] = 1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.33; P=.04). A 10-μg/m3 increase in 3-day and 7-day averages of fine particulate matter were associated with increased risk of spontaneous pregnancy loss, but the associations did not reach statistical significance (OR3-day average = 1.09; 95% CI 0.99–1.20; P=.05) (OR7-day average = 1.11; 95% CI 0.99–1.24; P=.06). We found no evidence of increased risk for any other metrics of nitrogen dioxide or fine particulate matter or any metric for ozone.

We found that short-term exposure to elevated levels of air pollutants was associated with higher risk for spontaneous pregnancy loss.

Do Harmful Chemicals in Health and Beauty Products Make Uterine Fibroids Grow ?

Phthalates exposure and uterine fibroid burden among women undergoing surgical treatment for fibroids: a preliminary study

A pilot study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility suggests that exposure to certain harmful chemicals called phthalates may lead to an increased burden of fibroids, uterine tumors that can cause heavy bleeding, pain, infertility, and other serious reproductive problems.

2019 Study Abstract

To examine the association between phthalate exposure and two measures of uterine fibroid burden: diameter of largest fibroid and uterine volume.

Pilot, cross-sectional study.

Academic medical center.

Fifty-seven premenopausal women undergoing either hysterectomy or myomectomy for fibroids.


Main Outcome Measure(s)
The diameter of the largest fibroid and uterine dimensions were abstracted from medical records. Spot urine samples were analyzed for 14 phthalate biomarkers using mass spectrometry. We estimated associations between fibroid outcomes and individual phthalate metabolites, sum of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate metabolites (∑DEHP), and a weighted sum of anti-androgenic phthalate metabolites (∑AA Phthalates) using linear regression, adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and body mass index. Fibroid outcomes were also examined dichotomously (divided at the median) using logistic regression.

Most women were of black ethnicity, overweight or obese, and college educated. In multivariable models, higher levels of mono-hydroxyisobutyl phthalate, monocarboxyoctyl phthalate, monocarboxynonyl phthalate, mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, mono(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl phthalate) (MEHHP), mono(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (MEOHP), and mono(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalate (MECPP), ∑DEHP, and ∑AA Phthalates were positively associated with uterine volume. Associations were most pronounced for individual DEHP metabolites (MEHHP, MEOHP, MECPP), ∑DEHP, and ∑AA Phthalates. For example, a doubling in ∑DEHP and ∑AA Phthalates was associated with 33.2% (95% confidence interval 6.6–66.5) and 26.8% (95% confidence interval 2.2–57.4) increase in uterine volume, respectively. There were few associations between phthalate biomarkers and fibroid size.

Exposure to some phthalate biomarkers was positively associated with uterine volume, which further supports the hypothesis that phthalate exposures may be associated with fibroid outcomes. Additional studies are needed to confirm these relationships.

The George Washington University press release.

College women, HPV genotyping and sexual behavior before HPV vaccination

Results from samples stored for a long time

This 2018 study was carried out from 2001 to 2005 in college women from Morelos State University in Mexico. Participants were related to the health science field (Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychology, Biology, and Education).. Students with ≥ 3 sexual partners and who did not use condom had 12.8 higher odds of being HPV positive.


HPV is the sexually transmitted agent most common among young people, like college students.

The aim of study was to associate sexual behavior characteristics of women with HPV, detected in genital samples taken before the introduction of the HPV vaccine.

Female students during 2001–2005 donated genital samples and the samples were re-analyzed in 2013 for HPV genotyping by RT-PCR.

The frozen storage of the students’ genital samples allowed the detection of HPV DNA and its genotyping after years of sample collection. HPV prevalence was 22%, HPV16 3.9%, and HPV18 1.1%.

Age, multiple sexual partners and the partner’s age at first sexual intercourse were significantly associated to HPV. Students with ≥ 3 sexual partners and who did not use condom had 12.8 higher odds of being HPV positive.

In this report, we found that students with older partners at first sexual intercourse had a higher possibility of becoming positive for HPV DNA. This is relevant because it has been reported that sexual partner’s age is an important risk factor for HIV infection in homosexual men and it is thought that this is partially due to the low acceptance of condom use by older sexual partners. This behavior could also happen regarding HPV, for heterosexual partners. In fact, we found that 49.0% of the older sexual partners did not use condom, compared with 40.1% of younger sexual partners as reported by participating college women (p = 0.119). Additionally, there was a higher possibility of being positive for HPV DNA in women 26 years old or older, this group reported a higher number of lifetime sexual partners and lower frequency of condom use during last sexual intercourse.

The interaction between the number of sexual partners (main risk factor for HPV exposure) and condom use (barrier against HPV exposure) was clear in the studied population, and even though condom use effectiveness in preventing HPV infection has been inconsistent in cross sectional studies, a review of longitudinal studies shows that it protects against the infection.