Sunday, January 29, 2012

Now German implants spark cancer fears for 20,000 British women

One of the country’s top private hospital chains has warned surgeons not to use a second type of breast implant because of fears it could be linked to cancer.

Following the scandal over faulty PIP implants, a senior manager at Nuffield Health has written to doctors advising them not to offer patients a product called Silimed and to quarantine existing stocks. The Silimed implants, which may already have been fitted in as many as 20,000 women in the UK, have a coating which previous studies have found could release a cancer-causing toxin into the body over a number of years.

Although the risk was considered extremely small, a similar product with the same coating was withdrawn in 1991. The British regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), advised surgeons at the time that it should not be used.

But it was relaunched in 2004 and sold in the UK after being awarded a crucial CE mark – which indicates it meets European quality standards – by German regulators.

Another German body awarded the quality mark to PIP implants which were later found to contain industrial silicon intended for use in mattresses.

Victims of the PIP scandal staged a protest calling for fair treatment in London earlier this month.

European free trade regulations mean that once a product has been given a CE mark, it can be sold throughout Europe. Read More