breast implants and autoimmune disease

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by cricket5641000, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. cricket5641000

    cricket5641000 New Member

    Hi, I just came over to this site from the a saline support group site on yahoo. We are a lot of women that have developed autoimmune diseases after having breast implants put in. Many of us have had our implants removed and have had most if not all of our symptoms disappear. Do any of you have implants and if so have you thought that there could be a connection. We do believe that there is.
    What do you think?
  2. Iggy_RN

    Iggy_RN New Member

    I really havent read any new research on this lately. I do have implants, and yes this DD has gotten worse since them. but my life had gotten worse also, and I have mycoplasma pnemonaie which I dont think is related to the implants. If you have any reading suggestions as far as newer research on this please let me know. I am sure that there is always a reaction to something that is put in our bodies, depending on our immune systems and how they handle it,,, please keep me posted. Blessings, Iggy
  3. cricket5641000

    cricket5641000 New Member

    What I have learned is that there is no way that if the implants are causing your illness that you will get better unless you have them removed. And even after that you have to go through detoxing your body. If you want you can read alot of stories from women just like you at the saline support group on yahoo.
    I have just been trying to spread the word, because so many of us have spent years running from doctor to doctor who never made the contection between our implants and our illness's.

    Hope this helps you


    33CUTIEPIE New Member

    I have had silicone breast implants for 20 years and am having them removed this Thursday, July 17. I found this out about 3 months ago when I started having a lot of joint and severe chest pain. My dr ordered an ultrasound and found the ruptured implant. I also went to a rheumatologist who said I have fibromyalgia. He prescribed tramadol and this relieved the pain. Every doc that I have seen in the past few months deny that ruptured silicone implants have anything to do with my fibromyalgia. I also have hypothyroidism and a growth hormone deficiency. I was put on Humatrope which after 8 months made me very ill. I was taken off of it and now I am in even worse shape. I am glad to hear that having the implants out will relieve some of these symtoms. Has anyone else out there had a growth hormone deficiency and failed to respond to growth hormone?
    Any info on this would be greatly appreciated as my new endo doesn't have a clue.
    Thank you in advance!!!
    [This Message was Edited on 07/14/2003]
  5. debicol

    debicol New Member

    Hi, your question caught my attention.
    At the age of 26, I had a double mastectomy and had silicone
    implants inserted. After 4 years of problems, I settled
    with a set of silicone with poly urethane coating to prevent scar tissue formation. The next ten years were spent
    fighting off repeated colds, flu, sinus infections,
    and developing nerve problems in my right arm as well
    as being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
    6 years ago, It was discovered that both implants had ruptured inside the scar capsule. I had them removed.
    Opted for reconstruction without implants.
    My health has done a 180 turnaround. Not even a bad cold
    in 5 years. My fibromyalgia is in remission.
    Although I still have flare ups it is nothing like the chronic fatigue and pain I suffered when I had the implants.
    No one can tell me the implants did not play a part in my
    immune system problems. I have medical records that clearly
    show that there was a before and after here.
    No matter what the studies show, there was a relationship
    with my silicone implants and my illnesses. That I am sure of.

    Deb Collier
  6. debicol

    debicol New Member

    Oh and By the Way, I never received any money.
    People that say implants are not a health issue
    need to get the real facts from women that have real problems not just the ones that wanted to jump on the lawsuit band wagon for money, and then still keep the implants. I would never put any implant, silicone or saline
    back in my body.
    The really sick women, want them removed at all cost.

    Deb Collier

  7. cricket5641000

    cricket5641000 New Member

    your are right that there are so many people that have an autoiummne disease and don't have implants. But for many of us it was the catolist.

    I recentently had a live blood cell test. Where they take a drop of your blood and put it under a mircoscope. It was amazing. well any why I could see my own blood cells on a tv screen. My blood was a mess. But the one thing I found out is that the Doctor told me I have one of the strongest ammune systems he has ever seen. When I had implants put into my body, my strong ammune system went into overdrive. it could not get rid of the implants so it started attacking my own body. I know now from this that I will have a great deal of trouble if I ever need a hip replacement or something of that sort.

    I have no interest in lawsuits of anything like that. In fact because I had saline (the safe implants) no one even belives that they made me sick. Except for everyone who knows me. I was explanted this last April and most of my sypmtoms are gone. I thank God that I made the contection between my illness's and implants.

  8. cricket5641000

    cricket5641000 New Member

    are you having your implants taken out en-block?
    Please check out the saline support group site on yahoo, to make sure that they are removeing them the best way.
    I wish you the best of luck and better health.
  9. dojomo

    dojomo New Member

    ...... just a media black-out. I copied and pasted part of an interesting article......

    Hype in Health Reporting

    "Checkbook science" buys distortion of medical news

    By Diana Zuckerman

              You've heard of junk science--a term coined by corporations to describe research they don't like--but the real danger to public health might be called "checkbook science": research intended not to expand knowledge or to benefit humanity, but instead to sell products.

                    Every day it seems there's a story touting a "promising" new medical product or treatment. Unfortunately, many of those news stories are based on public relations spin machines going into overdrive on behalf of the company that sells the product--whether it's a pharmaceutical company, a chain of diet clinics or a plastic surgery practice selling a new technique.

                    Do reporters know that so much medical news is actually unpaid advertising? The most effective industry influence is so well-hidden that many reporters and producers are totally unaware of it. The role of pharmaceutical companies and other health care industry interests in shaping news coverage of medical products and treatment is as invisible as it is pervasive.

                      The phone calls, press releases and press conferences that bring attention to new studies are the most obvious ways that companies shape medical news; but there are subtler strategies that are much more effective. For example, Excerpta Medica is a PR firm hired by pharmaceutical and other medical companies to launch new products. On their website and in other public documents, they have claimed responsibility for developing several new medical journals and other strategies to "establish a scientific base" for expanded use of their clients' offerings.

              What about medical stories based on articles in prestigious medical journals? In some cases, these articles are also bought and paid for. When the stakes are high, companies hire public relations firms that hire medical writers to ghostwrite academic-style articles for medical school professors to submit to well-respected medical journals. The companies also establish speakers' bureaus--lists of selected professors who are paid thousands of dollars in honoraria and travel expenses to speak at newsworthy national and international conferences. It's a win-win for the "experts" and the companies. The professors benefit because their employment status is based on being published in journals and invited to conferences. The companies benefit by having the name of a faculty member from a major university attached to an article or presentation endorsing their product. It's a real winner when the news headline refers to the industry's new study by its author's affiliation--e.g., "the Harvard study"--thus ensuring that the results will be taken seriously.

                          Few reporters ever know that the prestigious expert speaking on behalf of a new product is, one way or another, a paid spokesperson for the product. The author can honestly say that he or she is not paid by the company--because the money comes from the PR firm (which is paid by the company or its corporate foundation).

    Diet Pills: Safe or Not?

    One of the most notorious examples of PR-driven medical reporting is the story of fen-phen, the combination of diet pills that was removed from the market in 1997 when Redux (or fenfluramine) was determined to be dangerous. Fen-phen was hailed by the media as a great breakthrough when it gained popularity in the mid-1990s. There was a newsworthy stampede as patients sought the prescriptions from their doctors, at weight loss clinics and over the Internet. By 1996, 7 million women and men were taking fen-phen.

    When research was first published linking fen-phen to potentially fatal heart valve damage, the media took notice. Lawsuits and a settlement totaling $13 billion resulted in front-page coverage. But then a funny thing happened: New research articles were published in medical journals, indicating that fen-phen wasn't really dangerous after all.

    Again, the popular media took up the news with great enthusiasm. "Study: No Heart Damage from Diet Drug," proclaimed a front-page headline in USA Today (4/1/98). The study in question, paid for by Wyeth-Ayerst (the manufacturer of Redux) and authored by

    Dr. Neil Weissman, found only a small, statistically insignificant increase in heart-valve damage for women who took the diet drug compared to women who didn't.

    Let's give credit to the reporter: He mentioned that the company paid for the study, and that the women in the study took the diet pill for only three months. He mentioned that the study was presented at a medical meeting, although he didn't explain that such presentations are not held to the same standards as peer-reviewed medical journals.
    Unfortunately, those fine points were somewhat lost, because the headline and lead focused on the "news" that the drug was safe. The L.A. Times (4/6/98) and Boston Herald (4/1/98) versions of the story were even more reassuring and less questioning about the data.

    When Weissman and Wyeth tried to publish the study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the editor required that they modify their data analysis. As a result, the findings were no longer so reassuring. The published article (9/10/98) was not promoted by the company, for obvious reasons, and received little press attention.

    A year later (10/1/99), the New York Times' Gina Kolata wrote about another new study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (Vol. 34/No. 4), showing that fen-phen wasn't so bad after all. The Times did not disclose that one of the authors, Dr. George Blackburn, was paid by Wyeth-Ayerst to speak on behalf of fen-phen at medical meetings across the country. As a member of the company's speakers' bureau, Blackburn was paid honoraria and travel expenses when he spoke about the company's drugs.

    Perhaps the New York Times reporter was also influenced by the editorial in the same issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which concluded that the story of fen-phen was just a big scare. In the fine print, the editorial stated that it was written by a consultant to American Home Products--Wyeth's parent company.

    Only later did anyone learn just how active Wyeth was in making sure that medical journal articles supported their legal defense of fen-phen. Legal depositions revealed that Excerpta Medica, the aforementioned PR company, was paid by Wyeth to supply writers who would ghostwrite or edit medical journal articles to the company's specifications.

    Well-known experts were sometimes paid to lend their names as authors. Upon hearing this news, Dr. Robert Tenery, chair of the American Medical Association's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, told the Dallas Morning News (5/23/99), "What they're doing here is clearly an advertisement."

    Last year, when journalist Alicia Mundy revealed these unethical arrangements in a book about fen-phen, Dispensing with the Truth, she found it difficult to get the media to cover the story. "As a journalist, I had a great network of friends and colleagues that could have helped me to bring attention to these scandals," Mundy told Extra!, "but most of the media did not cover the story of how drug companies shape media coverage of their products."

    Breast Implants: Ignoring new Science
    Reporting on breast implants provides another example of media manipulation, with coverage that used to focus on science and health increasingly treating implants as a popular if questionable fad. The most important recent studies--three last year and two this year--received little attention, although they showed potentially fatal risks from implants or startlingly high complication rates. With the major public relations efforts on the "implants are perfectly safe" side of the story--paid for by implant manufacturers as well as the organizations representing plastic surgeons--the largest, best-designed studies barely attracted one day of coverage.

    When two studies that linked implants to cancer were published in medical journals last year, the newspaper headlines reflected the varied coverage: USA Today's "Studies Suggest Link Between Breast Implants and Cancer" (4/25/01) was similar to the New York Times' "Study Links Breast Implants to Lung and Brain cancers" (4/26/01), while Associated Press (4/26/01) decided to emphasize the positive: "Breast Implants Cancer-Safe; No Risk for Most Cancers from Breast Implants, Study Says." The AP headline seems like satire--how many kinds of cancer does an implant need to be linked to in order to be considered unsafe?--but, to be fair, it was apparently taken directly from the National Cancer Institute's press release, which led with the good news, only later mentioning that implants were linked to several cancers.

    A third major study, showing that implants often broke and leakage was linked to deadly diseases, received brief mention in the Washington Post (6/1/01) and was ignored by most other media.

    These implant studies were newsworthy because they were the only government studies that had been conducted, and were based on an unusually large sample of patients with a longer history of implants than in previous studies. Two of the studies were conducted by the National Cancer Institute, the other by scientists at the Food and Drug Administration along with an impressive list of medical school researchers. Since the results were not favorable to implants, there was no multi-million dollar public relations machine encouraging press coverage. Consumer groups contacted the media to tell them about the studies, but the placement of the articles, on pages B6 (Wall Street Journal, 4/25/01), D7 (USA Today, 4/25/01), A19 (New York Times, 4/26/01), and A28 (Newsday, 4/27/01), ensured that the bad news would not attract much attention; there was virtually no TV coverage.

    In contrast, a 1999 report that had concluded that implants probably did not cause diseases was embraced by the implant manufacturers and plastic surgeons--and was very big news on all the major networks and newspapers. The New York Times broke a press embargo with a front-page story, "Panel Confirms No Major Illness Tied to Implants" (6/21/99), and other media followed: "Study Again Clears Silicone," (Washington Post, 6/22/99, A2); "No Deadly Danger in Silicone Implants," (USA Today, 6/22/99, D1); "Study Clears Gel Implants of Some Ills," (L.A. Times, 6/22/99, A1).

    In July 2002, two unpublished studies of saline implants were presented at a public meeting of the FDA's Advisory Committee on plastic surgery medical devices. Neither the FDA nor the two manufacturers involved publicized the meeting, so few reporters were present. The meeting focused on the first five-year studies of saline implants, and the results were important because of very high complication rates for both manufacturers and the exceptionally low response rate for the studies by one of the manufacturers. The manufacturers provided some spin in response to media inquiries, but their major goal was to keep the story quiet. Without an industry-backed PR machine, that's exactly what happened.
  10. 33CUTIEPIE

    33CUTIEPIE New Member

    Hi Cricket and Deb!
    Thank you for your reply and in answer to your question my doctor is doing a capsulectomy and will remove any thing that looks like silicone or any granulomas that may have formed to enclose the free silicone. I went to the silicone survivors web site and used the form letter concerning the examination of the implants and sent it to the pathology group via certified mail. That is a great web site!!
    I have a good plastic surgeon so I am sure I will be OK.
    It will be interesting to see if my symptoms improve. I think the reason all the drs say that there is no relation to fibromyalgia is because they do not want to be involved in any lawsuit. I have a growth hormone deficiency so there is no way that I can prove that the silicone caused the fibro anyway. I do plan to send in the claim forms for the ruptured implant payment, since you do not need a lawyer for that. Of course, it will probably take 20 years before I get anything!!

    Good luck to you too!

    [This Message was Edited on 07/15/2003]
  11. Meowoink

    Meowoink New Member

    ...I had the implants for 17 yrs with many illnessess, breast infections, 4 ruptures, etc. I had the implants removed in 91 & decided not to have reconstructive surgery. AFTER I had the implants removed, I really fell apart. So having them removed doesn't ALWAYS make you feel better.
  12. 1948

    1948 New Member

    i had silicone breast implants for 22 years and had them removed jan8 03 because both were ruptured doctor removed enbloc so as to getmostof silicone out. ive been sick with breathing problems and many other medical problems. was diagnosed with fibro in dec 03 before had implants removed. sooo thought my health would improve after having them taken out but this fibro has really FLAIRED UP since surgery. also have acid reflux bad and is worse now.i got 2 trigger point injections 3 weeks ago in my neck had headaches for i month before that i could hardly walk for 3 months had sciatia pain going down right leg fially that went away and the neck FLAIR STARTED. trigger point injections are wonderful only wish i had known about them with leg and sciatia pain. i now go to pain management doctor.yhanks for listening.
  13. PollyDolly

    PollyDolly New Member

    I cannot believe that I saw this post because I have been
    looking for someone that I could talk to that has implants
    and these diseases. I had my implants done 11 years ago and 8 years I have been ill with CFS/FMS and always in the back of my mind I thought it was possible it could be the
    implants since I was never sick before. I've scheduled
    surgury the end of October to have them removed. I haven't been able to find any figures on how many women's health improved after the implants were removed but it's a
    chance I feel like I have to take. I am so tired of being
    sick. Thanks for this topic!

    P.S. I wish you would give me that site address for the saline support group.
  14. tandy

    tandy New Member

    This post caught my attention because I have a good friend that recently got her new "boobs". She has no problems yet....its only been 6 months~ But I think she's nuts because they look fake(of course this girl went from a lucky if she were a B a DD !!)and she's thin to boot!!so it does'nt look right.not to mention one is slightly lower than the other(or bigger??) But she paid big bucks for those babys!! is it really worth it??
    Question: the kind of implants used today...are they suppose to be safer? Thanks :)
  15. fmcurepls

    fmcurepls New Member

    I hope you are still on this site. I am considering removing my implants as well. I have had them 10 years and have been sick for almost 7. Are you feeling better? I hope so. Please respond.

    Thank you so much
  16. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    saline only....still the same old aches and pains..nothing new...i figure i may as well look and feel better about myself...