Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-02-13-Speech-4-044"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to congratulate Mrs Stihler on her report. As an oncological surgeon and university research scientist, I read the report very carefully and support many of the proposals it contains. I feel, however, that the tone is excessively alarmist and I will tell you why. For 50 years or so, silicones have been widely used in products for large-scale consumption such as drinks, puddings, cakes, drugs, paediatric materials, pacemakers, cardiac valves, lipsticks, creams and fabrics – and it has been proved that none of these cause cancer in humans. For 40 years, silicone breast implants have been used throughout the world for both aesthetic reasons, as in the case of serious psychological problems, and for reconstruction, as in the case of mastectomies carried out to remove breast cancer where there are no age restrictions. In 1986, the University of Los Angeles examined 3000 women who had had implants for at least six years and found no risk of increasing neoplasia or to mobility. In 1992, the University of Calgary, examining 11 000 women, reached the same conclusions. The American Association of Rheumatologists also promoted two studies on the risk of autoimmune pathology in women with silicone implants, which recorded good tolerance in all cases. It was discovered that the average life of implants is between 15 and 25 years and spontaneous rupture is often asymptomatic. There are therefore no sufficiently serious grounds for preventing the use of implants, except in young women less than 18 years old. I must point out that the report makes no reference to breast implants inserted as preventive treatment in cases where the results of predictive genetic tests have shown a high risk of carcinogenesis in patients, tests carried out particularly on the children of mothers who have suffered from cancer, which is a practice which will become increasingly widespread. As regards paragraph 10a, I would like to point out that patient consent forms are already in use in all the States of the Union. It is compulsory for the patient to sign a form after receiving all the necessary information, before any treatment is applied, including implants. I therefore feel it superfluous to mention a passport. I also feel it would be useful to set up European and national registers containing data collected on both aesthetic and therapeutic breast implants. Furthermore, it is important for an annual check to be carried out by a breast specialist and a free echography performed, without the need for invasive examinations such as mammographies or CAT scans which still subject patients to radiation and are practices which are on the expensive side for national health services. The collection of data on implants and regulated follow-up would contribute to the production of a valid survey allowing a more precise assessment to be carried out, which would certainly be reassuring for all women."@en1

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