Breast implant woman dies

Breast implants were twice as likely to rupture as other makes

Action group mourns first victim of defective prosthetic withdrawn from market after widescale rupture problems

A WOMAN has died from lymphatic cancer thought to have been contracted from a defective breast implant - the first in France.

Implant manufacturer Poly Implant Prothèses was shut down by the health authorities last year and its boss accused of fraud over the implants which were filled with a non-medical gel and were twice as likely to rupture as other brands.

It is feared up to 40,000 women are still carrying the implants which were manufactured at La Seyne-sur-Mer in the Var. At one time the firm was the world's third-largest manufacturer of implants and, in all, 90% of production went to Britain and Spain.

The death of Edwige Ligoneche, who died in a Marseille cancer care clinic, has stunned fellow members of the Porteuses de Prothèses PIP group which has been fighting to get compensation. Members have lodged 1,400 complaints against the firm PIP at the court in Marseille.

Members spoke out on social networks, with one saying: "I cannot describe what I feel. It is so deep, but anger is growing every day."

Health watchdog Afssaps ordered the firm to be closed after it discovered it was using a different silicone gel to that authorised. The gel was for industrial, not medical, use and it is feared that it can cause cancer. However, Afssaps has not been able to prove a cancer link.

Alexandra Blachère, president of Porteuses de Prothèses PIP, is to meet the health minister on December 14 to ask for increased compensation. At the moment the state covers the cost of taking out the implants but the group wants reconstruction costs covered as well.

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