Home » » My breast implants have given me cancer: In a chilling twist to the scandal over implants made with mattress filling, one woman's disturbing claim

My breast implants have given me cancer: In a chilling twist to the scandal over implants made with mattress filling, one woman's disturbing claim

Susan Grieve somehow manages a laugh, albeit a brittle one, as she reveals she is still paying for the breast implants she had nearly six years ago. 
A single mother with a part-time job as a legal secretary, she couldn’t afford the £4,500 needed for the operation she was certain would improve her life, so she remortgaged her home to raise the cash. 
When one of the implants burst last year and her surgeon recommended that both be replaced, the £1,500 bill went on a credit card, where the interest continues to accrue.
Susan just before her 40th birthday a year agoSusan today, after two courses of chemotherapy
Suffering: Susan Grieve  just before her 40th birthday a year ago (left) and today, after two courses of chemotherapy
What will be the ultimate price for her ‘life-changing’ new breasts, though? That calculation may prove impossible. The biggest fear is that she will pay with her life itself.
Susan has cancer, a very rare and aggressive cancer which has rattled through her body at speed. A cancer she blames on her implants. 
She is speaking to me from her hospital bed in Edinburgh, where she lies connected to all manner of tubes and machines. 
Here, ironically, no one is bothered with the size of her breasts — least of all Susan. Today, the most pressing issue with her chest is how to get enough oxygen into it, and how to rid her lungs of the fluid collecting on them. 
On her bedside table is a picture taken a year ago, just before her 40th birthday. That Susan — vibrant and happy — is now unrecognisable.
‘My mother brought it in and said, “Susan, this is what we want you to get back to”,’ she explains. ‘She thought it would make me feel better, give me something to aim for. But it didn’t — it made me feel worse.’
Today her face is painfully thin and her legs are bloated. ‘Steroids,’ she explains, gazing at her feet as if they belong to someone else. 
Her skin is like paper, and she is bald beneath her pink scarf. She asked the nurse to shave her head a few weeks ago after chemotherapy had caused most of her hair to fall out. Just watching her is painful — especially when she speaks of her ten-year-old daughter Alix and weeps. 
‘Everyone says that I can’t lie to Alix, but what do I say if she asks: “Are you going to die?” I want to tell her there is no way on this earth that I am going to leave her, but in my position I can’t make promises like that.’
So just what has any of this got to do with her breast implants? This is where the story becomes deeply concerning, as well as sad.
Susan believes her particular cancer — which has already been linked to breast implants in the U.S. — has been caused by the French-made PIP implants that she had fitted in 2006. The PIP implants, made by the now defunct Poly Implant Prothese company, are, of course, the ones at the centre of recent controversy. 
Support: With her brother Stewart and son Craig. Craig says what has happened to his mother is 'criminal'
Support: With her brother Stewart and son Craig. Craig says what has happened to his mother is 'criminal'
They were recalled after they were found to contain material normally used in mattress filling, rather than medical-grade silicone. It is believed 100,000 British women may have been given PIP implants — most for cosmetic reasons, but others following a mastectomy.
Even before her cancer diagnosis, Susan was one of the unlucky ones. Last year, one of her implants burst. When doctors operated to remove it in December, they discovered the contents (‘whatever the hell they were’) had seeped out.
The scan that showed the implant rupture also showed something else: enlarged lymph nodes in the breast area, and also in the stomach. 
It wasn’t until March, however, that lymphoma — a cancer of the auto-immune system — was confirmed.
Susan claims further tests revealed a very specific type of this cancer, Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL), which, reports have suggested, may be linked to exposure to silicone and saline. 
It is the same cancer that killed a 53-year-old French woman, Edwige Ligoneche, last year and sparked an international scandal. Ms Ligoneche’s family are pursuing a manslaughter case against the French company which made the PIP implants.
It was in France that the first concerns over PIP implants were made public. Implants were rupturing, causing immune system problems, pain, fever and rashes. Only after an investigation was the mattress filler silicone discovered.
Quite independently, worries were already growing about a possible link between implants and Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. Although there is no definitive proof that ALCL is caused by implants, the existing evidence had been compelling enough for the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. to issue advice about the suspected link.
In the UK, a Department of Health spokesman played down health fears at the time, saying: ‘The MHRA [the UK body that regulates breast implants] had discussions today with other health or regulatory experts from France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Denmark and Malta.
‘They all agreed that there was no evidence of any increase in incidents of cancer associated with PIP breast implants, and no evidence of any disproportionate rupture rates. This is in line with UK findings.’
They also specified that no case of ALCL had been reported in the UK.

‘I can’t promise my daughter I’m not going to die’

But that is no longer the case. The clinic responsible for Susan Grieve’s implants, Spire Murrayfield Hospital in Edinburgh, confirmed it has now notified the MHRA, and yesterday the MRHA confirmed it had received the notification. Meanwhile, Susan claims her cancer specialist and her cosmetic surgeon have been talking openly about the possibility of her cancer being linked to her implants.
‘My oncologist said to me, “I bet you wish you’d never had them done,” while the surgeon who did my breast implants has come to see me here, even though this hospital is not where he works. He gave me a hug and said: “I’m so sorry, Susan. This is what we feared most.” ’

My breast implants have given me cancer:

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2132862/My-breast-implants-given-cancer-In-chilling-twist-scandal-implants-mattress-filling-womans-disturbing-claim.html#ixzz1sn030o9u
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