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Mount Pleasant woman concerned following FDA breast implant warning

Breast implants that were removed after a Mt. Pleasant woman had health problems. (WCIV)

Breast augmentation is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures in the United States.

But, federal health officials have a new warning for those with breast implants.

In a report released this week, the Food and Drug Administration said more cases of a rare cancer are popping up and there’s a link between the two.

They say women with breast implants are at risk of developing what’s called anaplastic large cell lymphoma, which is a rare cancer of the immune system.

The announcement was big news for Maria Gmitro.

She her silicone implants removed in June 2017, after three years of battling a debilitating, mysterious illness. Since then, she’s become an advocate for those suffering with breast implant illness.

“This is kind of crazy to be this healthy but to be this sick at the same time,” Gmitro said. “When you look at the pictures, you can see the inflammation in my face, it just changed. I was having trouble walking up and down stairs and that joint pain went away, instantly.”

Her journey to health started when she joined a private Facebook group several years ago.

There, she found others experiencing the exact same issues. Since then, Gmitro said she’s met at least 30 women in Mount Pleasant who feel they’ve become sick from their implants.

“I was kind of shocked that they came out, I know that a lot of ladies are very thankful right now that the FDA is listening,” she said. “We have a meeting next month, I’m going with a group of ladies to meet with the FDA about the safety of breast implants.”

The FDA also issued a letter of warning to doctors and health providers. They state the risk applies to all types of breast implants, but most cases occurred in those with textured implants.

“I would like for (general practitioners) to really take a good look at the women who have become sick from the implants," Gmitro said.

The FDA first raised concerns about the cancer risk with textured implants in 2011, but there just wasn’t substantial data at the time to warrant a substantial public health concern.

Since then, there’s been much more awareness, which has helped establish a connection.

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