Breast implants exposed to bacteria may boost the chance of women developing a rare type of cancer, new Australian-led research has found.
The research, published in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery journal, looked at tissue samples from 22 women who developed Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) after getting their breasts enhanced.
It found that the women developed ALCL within eight years of having the surgery, the ABC reports.
The research is important because it's the first time that implants contaminated with bacteria have been linked to this particular type of lymphoma.
"This novel finding of bacterial biofilm ... in breast implant-associated ALCL samples points to a possible infectious contributing cause," the paper concluded.
"Breast implants are widely used in both reconstructive and aesthetic surgery, and strategies to reduce their contamination should be more widely studied and practiced."
Macquarie University associate professor Anand Deva led the research and told the ABC that there was no cause for alarm because very few women with breast enhancements developed cancer.
"In Australia and New Zealand, we've got around 40 documented cases," Deva said.
The Australian research comes after French regulators said this week that breast implants were clearly linked to cancer.
French authorities have reportedly given implant makers in the European nation one year to establish that their products are safe or risk having them outlawed.