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Cancer survivors face dilemma over banned breast implants linked to rare lymphoma – CBC.ca

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Dona Murphy was finally feeling relieved. Eight years after being diagnosed with breast cancer and having a mastectomy, her oncologist declared her cancer-free.

Then in November, she received a couriered letter from the hospital where she had her surgery, delivering some shocking news: The breast implant used during her reconstruction was now banned by Health Canada.

Last May, Health Canada pulled a type of textured breast implant off the market, following a joint investigation by CBC News, Radio-Canada, the Toronto Star and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The product — specifically macro-textured Biocell implants, made by Allergan — has been linked to a rare form of lymphoma known as breast-implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL.

Health Canada says it’s a “serious but rare type of lymphoma,” with the agency pegging the risk of BIA-ALCL at one in 3,565 (0.03%) for the Biocell implants. In Canada, more than 30 women have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL.

Dona Murphy reads a letter from the hospital where she underwent a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer; it informed her that the implant used in the surgery has since been banned by Health Canada. (CBC)

Regulators in both Canada and the U.S. don’t recommend that women with the implants have them removed because the cancer is so rare. But they say women should check with their doctor if they have any symptoms, which include pain and swelling.

Paying for peace of mind?

While Murphy has no symptoms from her textured implant, she wants the device removed from her body. But the Ontario government has said that if the implant doesn’t affect her health, it’s up to her to pay to have it taken out.

“I can’t imagine why any woman would want to have it in them if there’s a potential — no matter how small — of causing cancer,” she said.

Patricia Mailman has two textured implants, put in after undergoing a double mastectomy in Halifax as part of her cancer treatment. When she found out about the ban, she too immediately wanted her implants replaced with non-textured ones.

She doesn’t have $10,000 needed to pay a plastic surgeon to have the explant done, she said, so she’s on a waiting list to have the Nova Scotia government pay, because the implants are causing her pain.

“We didn’t ask for the cancer in the first place, so we didn’t really ask for this either,” Mailman said.

Patricia Mailman had textured implants put in years ago after a double mastectomy. (CBC)

Textured breast implants were used in thousands of procedures in Canada beginning in 2006, with the pebble-like surface intended to act as a kind of Velcro, preventing the implant from sliding on the chest well.

The medical community started linking some breast implants to cancer in 2011.

BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer, but rather lymphoma that grows in the scar tissue surrounding the breast. It grows slowly and can usually be successfully treated by surgically removing the implants.

Risks involved with removal

Dr. Michael Weinberg, a plastic surgeon in Toronto, estimates he’s implanted about 100 pairs of textured implants. Now because of the ban, he says some of his former patients are scared, worried and asking for his advice.

“They are very emotional and I completely understand how they feel really badly,” he said.

Weinberg cautions that removing implants is a significant operation, both in terms of medical risks, as well as cosmetically.

The risks of implant removal include:

  • Infection.
  • Bleeding.
  • Scarring.

“You can’t guarantee when the implant is under the muscle that you’ll be able to take the whole capsule out,” said Weinberg, or the surrounding scar tissue that can stick to the ribs.

Still, for some women, the thought of possibly developing cancer is a worse risk.

Murphy is scheduled to have her implant removed in March, paying for it out of her own pocket. But, she points out, that’s something a lot of women can’t afford to do.

Cancer survivors are faced with difficult decisions months after textured implants were banned because of a rare cancer risk. The women must decide if the risks and costs of having implants removed outweigh the risk of leaving them in. 2:19

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Saskatchewan health officials fine person $2000 for not self-isolating while symptomatic – WellandTribune.ca

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REGINA—Saskatchewan health officials have fined a person $2,000 for not self-isolating while showing symptoms of COVID-19, bringing the total amount of penalties levied in the province to more than $20,000.

The Ministry of Health has not released specific details about the recent case, except to say the penalty was imposed after a contact tracing investigation.

“Public health is confident that all close contacts have been determined and contacted in this case,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Health.

Public health rules state people must isolate for 14 days if they return from international travel, are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been close to someone who is positive.

Officials said the recent violation was of a section of the provincial public health order that states all symptomatic people who have been directed to get a COVID-19 test, or are awaiting their results, must isolate until they are no longer deemed a risk.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said asymptomatic people being tested are only required to self-monitor.

“As there is no further public risk, we will not be releasing additional information about this enforcement,” said the statement.

A spokesperson said officials have issued four fines related to violations around COVID-19 precautions, including the one announced Thursday.

Recently, an organizer of a private gathering at a home in Saskatoon, where about 47 people attended, was fined $2,000. Another $2,000 fine was handed to a person who didn’t self-isolate, despite being positive for COVID-19.

A $10,000 penalty was given to a business that was open when restrictions were in place.

“Fines are not our first choice; we want people to be responsible and protect their health and the health of the friends, family and community,” Colleen Book said in an email.

“There can be very serious consequences for not following Public Health Orders and we are seeing increasing transmission rates in Saskatchewan and across the country as a result of social gatherings (weddings, parties etc.). This is putting our schools, businesses and health facilities at risk.”

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Saskatchewan reported five new infections on Thursday. Officials said of the more than 1,800 cases reported to date in the province, 130 are believed to be active.

There are 24 active infections of children since schools reopened earlier this month.

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Saskatchewan officials fine person $2000 for not self-isolating while symptomatic – The Observer

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REGINA — Saskatchewan health officials have fined a person $2,000 for not self-isolating while showing symptoms of COVID-19, bringing the total amount of penalties levied in the province to more than $20,000.

The Ministry of Health has not released specific details about the recent case, except to say the penalty was imposed after a contact tracing investigation.

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“Public health is confident that all close contacts have been determined and contacted in this case,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Health.

Public health rules state people must isolate for 14 days if they return from international travel, are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been close to someone who is positive.

Officials said the recent violation was of a section of the provincial public health order that states all symptomatic people who have been directed to get a COVID-19 test, or are awaiting their results, must isolate until they are no longer deemed a risk.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said asymptomatic people being tested are only required to self-monitor.

“As there is no further public risk, we will not be releasing additional information about this enforcement,” said the statement.

A spokeswoman said officials have issued four fines related to violations around COVID-19 precautions, including the one announced Thursday.

Recently, an organizer of a private gathering at a home in Saskatoon, where about 47 people attended, was fined $2,000. Another $2,000 fine was handed to a person who didn’t self-isolate, despite being positive for COVID-19.

A $10,000 penalty was given to a business that was open when restrictions were in place.

“Fines are not our first choice; we want people to be responsible and protect their health and the health of the friends, family and community,” Colleen Book said in an email.

“There can be very serious consequences for not following Public Health Orders and we are seeing increasing transmission rates in Saskatchewan and across the country as a result of social gatherings (weddings, parties etc.). This is putting our schools, businesses and health facilities at risk.”

Saskatchewan reported five new infections on Thursday. Officials said of the more than 1,800 cases reported to date in the province, 130 are believed to be active.

There are 24 active infections of children since schools reopened earlier this month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020

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Manitoba murder trial to continue with 11 jurors after one shows COVID-19 symptoms. – Nanaimo News NOW

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Queen’s Bench Justice Vic Toews told the jury Thursday he received advice from public health that it is safe and prudent to continue.

Toews says even if the juror tests positive, it doesn’t mean the remaining jurors would need to self-isolate given the steps taken in court, which include physical distancing.

“It is not prudent to wait any longer,” said Toews.

Moar, 23, is accused of killing Hibi at the foster home he ran for boys.

Jury trials were suspended across the country in the spring as the justice system grappled with how to handle the pandemic.

They resumed in Manitoba earlier this month with Moar’s trial.

The court put several protocols in place. Jury selections have been held in a large convention centre, there has been physical distancing in courtrooms and masks became mandatory after an employee at the Winnipeg courthouse tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Toews said Wednesday that he was optimistic that jurors would soon hear his charge in the case before beginning deliberations on a verdict. (CTV Winnipeg, The Canadian Press)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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