Tell Me Something I Don't Know about Breast Cancer: Recalled Implants
SARASOTA - From Stage 1 breast cancer to Stage 4, Ivonne Lizarazo has conquered it all.
"I followed the protocol of the double mastectomy; I am thankfully right now, NED," Lizarazo said.
She's 'No Evidence of Disease,' for now, she says.
"I received a letter in the mail that said I have the BIOCELL implants that are causing women lymphoma," Lizarazo said.
Her letter from Allergan explained the company recalled their implants in July after "notification by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of their recently updated global safety information."
Lizarazo’s specific type of implants have been linked to more than 500 nationwide cases of rare, breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
“for someone like me to hear the word rare there’s no comfort in that. I’ve been hearing that since the age of 27.”
The FDA and Allergan recommend women don’t get the implants removed unless they have symptoms, but Lizarazo’s surgeon recommended exploring her options.
Her surgeon doesn’t take her new insurance, and she says the last month trying to find someone else has been a challenge.
“With my illness, I have to be constantly be at doctor's appointments having scans and having checkups, getting thousands of dollars of medical bills on a regular basis. I’ve already met $5,000 of my deductible this year," Lizarazo said.
She found a surgeon who accepts the insurance but still says she’ll have to pay thousands out of pocket to get the implants replaced, and she says each day she waits, her fear grows.
"I feel like I have a ticking time bomb," Lizarazo said. "I don’t want to wait for a third diagnosis to get this taken care of and kind of roll the dice. That’s really just heartbreaking.”