Mother's warning as she contracts rare cancer as a result of breast implants

A mother of three is raising awareness of a rare form of cancer that can be developed as a result of breast implants.

Marie Bloom was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago and opted for a mastectomy and reconstruction with implants.

Since undergoing surgery she had a few problems with her implants, but over Christmas 2021 she noticed her breasts had swollen.

After further testing Marie was diagnosed with Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA ALCL) and her implants had to be taken out.

Marie, a nurse, says: "Everything I've done has been preventative and I've got cancer from something that I was given and offered for reconstruction purposes. I'm upset, angry."

Marie Bloom is a nurse from Droylsden in Greater Manchester. Credit: Marie Bloom

BIA ALCL is a very rare form of blood cancer, which grows in response to the body's reaction to a breast implant.

In the UK, one in 15,000 people who get implants could develop this form of cancer.

BIA ALCL is slow growing and removing the implant can usually cure the cancer.

Marie said she was never told about the possibility of developing this form of cancer at any point during her reconstruction consultations.

She says: "I've tried to fix the solution of having breast cancer by getting immediate reconstruction so I can continue getting on with my life and be there for my children, and I've put myself and my family back in a situation where cancer's been brought back into the family.

"I wouldn't have had that type of reconstruction that could cause cancer had I have known it could happen with the implants."

Marie chose to opt for reconstruction surgery because with implants for the quicker recovery time to be around for her young children. Credit: Marie Bloom

At the time of her mastectomy Marie was offered two types of reconstruction, implants or reconstruction using the fat from her stomach.

She chose implants as the recovery time was shorter which meant she could go home to her three young children.

Marie wants to raise awareness so that other people can make a more informed decision.

She says: "I can't tell people not to get implants, every person has got to make their own decision, it's just know the risks that are involved there.

"It could be a quick fix for you for now and give you a bit of confidence but are you prepared to have more surgery down the line?"

Marie's Grandchildren - Her children Morgan and Callum and his wife Laura Credit: Marie Bloom

Professor Suzanne Turner from Cambridge University studies cancer cell biology and is the UK's leading specialist in this field.She says people should not be worried, but should be 'aware' this may be a possibility.

She adds: "People with breast implants need to be checking their breasts much like they would do anyway for breast cancer.

"So looking for any abnormal signs, any sudden swellings, any lumps or bumps that aren't normally there.

"Anything like this that concerns anybody who has breast implants should then go to their GP for some advice."Current research shows that BIA-ALCL has mainly been reported in people with breast implants which have a rough (textured) silicone surface.

However, the government has said that until the evidence is clearer, they feel it is best to assume that any breast implant (smooth or textured surface) may have the potential to cause BIA-ALCL.

Marie and her fiance Earle Credit: Marie Bloom

Marie is now cancer free and says she would not have been able to cope without the love and support of her friends, family and fiance Earle.

For more information about BIA-ALCL you can take a look at official UK guidance here.

Those with implants who are concerned are advised to speak to their GP.

You can find further information here.