Jeremy Laurance: This contradictory advice leaves women with a difficult choice
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Saturday 24 December 2011
On one score, women with breast implants made by the now-defunct French company Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) should feel reassured.
There is on present evidence no higher risk of cancer with the devices. The French government conceded that point yesterday, though rather too late to prevent alarm spreading round the world.
Despite this, the Health Minister Xavier Bertrand still chose to recommend removal of the implants from the 30,000 women in France with them and promised to pay the cost.
British women wondering what to do face their own dilemma. While the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons expressed concern at the French recommendation, and said a check-up was all that was needed, the rival British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said it was "not unreasonable" to remove the implants.
Dame Sally Davies, England's chief medical officer, struggled yesterday to reassure women there was nothing to worry about. But it is hard for women to keep their heads when all about are losing them.
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