PAMLICO COUNTY, NC (WITN) A woman here in the east is speaking out about the dangers of textured breast implants that were recently recalled by the Food and Drug Administration.
That recall was triggered following findings that the implants are linked to a certain type of cancer.
Carol Small of Oriental says, "My life could have been saved if somebody would have paid attention."
Small is on a mission to protect women from something she didn't know was a problem until she developed it.
She says, "In 2011 they came out and said there is this disease but we don't know what to do about it."
The FDA calls it Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, which is a cancer they say is associated with certain textured breast implants made by Allergan.
Textured breast implants have a thicker wall than the more common smooth implant.
Small says, "I had like a big softball sized thing, right here that was my implant, where as my regular breast was here and the doctors looked at that and said, oh you know you're fine, and I wasn't fine."
Small has stage four metastatic breast cancer, along with a form of lymphoma she says was caused by her breast implants. "I had serious chemo and I had a pet scan afterwards and the cancer is now dormant, I guess you call it in remission."
Recently the FDA did a voluntary recall of Allergan breast implants after receiving more than 350,000 complaints.
In March Small was part of a group of women who testified about their experience in an effort to educate women and to push the FDA to take further action to better protect women.
Small says, "They have not said anything about taking them out of women who have these implants."
Small is hoping that by sharing her story, and that of other women who have also developed cancer that they believe is from their breast implants, they can stop this from happening to anyone else.
Small says, "We all loved our implants and here is the big word, until, and a woman never knows where her until moment is going to come, we all had one."
Small says the best thing any woman can do is educate herself. She says, "33 women have already died, no more need to die."
Small is encouraging all women with breast implants to do research on the symptoms of the cancers the textured implants may cause.
You can read more about the research into this type of cancer by clicking on the related link.