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Breast Myths: Do Silicone Implants Cause Lupus?

It’s March, spring is just around the corner, and it’s time to bust another breast myth! Lisa from San Francisco wrote to Pink Lotus Power Up and wants to know: Do Silicone Implants Cause Lupus?

In response to claims that a link exists between silicone gel implants and immunologic or autoimmune disorders such as scleroderma, Sjögren’s disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (commonly called SLE or lupus), and fibromyalgia, the FDA restricted silicone gel implants to only being used in surgical reconstruction in 1996. That restriction lasted for 14 years.

Given the infrequency of these disorders, large-scale epidemiologic studies were required to determine a possible cause-and-effect relationship. 31 studies from four countries, totaling an analysis of over 500,000 women, failed to find a statistical relationship between any known or newly recognized disease and silicone. As a result, the FDA concluded that no connection existed which exceeded the natural population risk of developing immunologic or autoimmune disorders with or without implants present. The widespread use of certain silicone implants was therefore reinstated in 2006.

Leave your comments below, share with hashtag #BreastMyths, and don’t forget to submit your Breast Myths questions and I will confirm or bust them right here on the Breast Cancer 101 blog! Until next month. I am wishing you all the “breast” of health!

Breast Myths is a monthly editorial contribution by breast cancer surgeon and Pink Lotus co-founder Dr. Kristi Funk and appears here on the Pink Lotus Power Up Breast Myths blog.

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