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France, UK issue clashing advice on breast implants

PARIS, Dec 23 (Reuters) - France and Britain have issued conflicting advice to tens of thousands of women with breast implants made of cheap industrial silicone that some fear pose health risks.

The French government urged 30,000 women in France to seek removal of the implants, made by now-defunct French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), because of the danger they could rupture and cause inflammation and irritation.

There was no evidence of any increased cancer risk, it said. But in Britain, where an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 women are affected, Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies said: “Women with PIP implants should not be unduly worried. We have no evidence of a link to cancer or an increased risk of rupture. If women are concerned they should speak to their surgeon.”

Removing implants “carries risks in itself”, she said. “I do think that every woman who has these implants should go and get checked ... It's better to have them replaced than to worry about them rupturing,” said British woman Pat Demetriou, who had faulty PIP implants removed in 2010.

Nigel Mercer of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said the French move was “certainly not unreasonable” while British cosmetic surgeon Kevin Hancock said the divergent government responses would cause distress for British women.

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