Most of the ALCL tumors were limited to the area of the implant capsules, and could – as best I can tell from the few reports – be treated by removal of the implants and affected, adjacent breast tissue. These don’t appear to be aggressive lymphomas, as are some ALCL’s. I would go as far as to speculate that these might indeed be antigen-driven tumors; in this light, it would make sense in principle and in practice to treat these by removal of the implants, at least as a first-line approach.
ALCL is a very rare condition; when it occurs, it has been most often identified in patients undergoing implant revision operations for late onset, persistent seroma. Because it is so rare and most often identified in patients with late onset of symptoms such as pain, lumps, swelling, or asymmetry, it is unlikely that increased screening of asymptomatic patients would change their clinical outcomes. The FDA does not recommend prophylactic breast implant removal in patients without symptoms or other abnormality.
Breast Implant Consumer Information
ALCL and Breast Implants Consumer Article
Other blog posts on topic:
An Oncologist Considers Rare Lymphomas in Women With Breast Implants; Medical Lessons Blog (January 28, 2011)
Breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL): Is there a link?; Science-Based Medicine Blog (January 31, 2011)