What You Should Know About Breast Implants and BIA-ALCL.

What You Should Know About Breast Implants and BIA-ALCL.

Julie Scott, DNP
Julie Scott, DNP
anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) | cancerGO

What is Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)?

Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that can develop around breast implants. The lymphoma cells typically form a fluid-filled capsule with scar tissue around the implant. It is a rare condition, with less than 1000 cases diagnosed.

The exact cause of BIA-ALCL is unknown, but it is believed to be related to the type of implant surface. Textured implants, which have a rougher surface, have been associated with a higher risk of developing BIA-ALCL than smooth implants. The implant filling does not seem to impact the development of BIA-ALCL.


Symptoms of BIA-ALCL include:

  • Swelling or pain around the implant
  • Breast asymmetry or evenness
  • Lumps or masses in the breast or armpit
  • Redness or rash around the breast

For some, no symptoms may be present.


Diagnosis of BIA-ALCL is typically made through a biopsy of the affected tissue. The biopsy will be analyzed for the presence of the specific type of lymphoma cells that are seen in this disease.


Treatment for BIA-ALCL typically involves the removal of the implant and the surrounding capsule. In some cases, additional chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be recommended.

It is important to note that BIA-ALCL is not a type of breast cancer and does not increase the risk of breast cancer.


Julie Scott, DNP
Julie Scott, DNP
Julie is an oncology certified Oncology Nurse Practitioner with over a decade of medical oncology experience. In addition to her clinical work, she is an accomplished healthcare writer providing oncology content for various publications. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member for a Master's nursing program and a chair for Doctoral nursing students.

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