CAN Mesh Cause Cancer?

If I asked you the following questions, I wonder what the answer would be.

Have you been diagnosed with cancer of bladder, colon, stomach or other area such as this, since your implant, either hernia or pelvic?

If you had surgery because of it, did you require chemo or radiation?

Did you ask questions why you needed it?

Did you read your operative report to learn what was wrong?

Those are questions you may want to answer for yourself and the reason why I am writing this blog and because I know someone who extremely sick right now and she may not make it.

It has been some time since I last wrote a full blog and I am not doing much of it these days, because I am trying to live a more normal life. However, I have not stopped learning, nor sharing on my Mesh Angels Facebook page.

During the month of May I posted almost every day, trying to give a great deal of information, first to warn women who have not yet, had a mesh implant placed in their bodies. I did this because May is Mesh Awareness month. I also posted information about lawsuits and so much more, mainly to defuse the fact that women are getting rich for filing a lawsuit. We all know that is NOT true.

The reason I decided to post this blog is because I learned something that is horrifying, when I was looking for other information to do with mesh. Because it is important to anyone, man, or woman, who has mesh in their bodies, I knew I had to come out of blog retirement, so that everyone gets this information.

I would say that this information took me totally by surprise, but sad to say, nothing about these mesh implants, surprises me anymore. However, it may surprise other men and women and they may need to keep an eye on their own health, in case this affects them or someone they love.

The reason this affects men and women is because of hernia mesh and mesh used for other surgeries. In fact, once I saw the information I am going to give you, I began further research.

I have been researching about mesh over several years, but it has been in its infancy, because mesh has only been used in abundance for hernias and pelvic issues since the middle 2000’s. Just this Century.

No one decided to see what mesh would do in the human body, over many years. It was cheap and an easy way to make money, so Pharmaceutical Companies brought out kits and pieces, nicely packaged, and put them on operating room shelves for a multitude of purposes. Did they care what would happen to the hundreds of thousands of people who would be implanted with plastic? No they did not give a crap.

For some reason I decided to search to see if there had been any breaking studies showing mesh and cancer. I had not searched in a long time but realized that some of this would eventually come to light. These are paragraphs I took and will first share with you and my own feeling about what is happening to people.

This was written in 2017, about 12 years since mesh has been widely used, due to the kits for pelvic mesh.

Background. Polypropylene material is widely used in gynecological surgery. There are few reports regarding its carcinogenic potential. There is lack of evidence supporting tumor formation directly attributed to the use of polypropylene material. Case. This patient is a 49-year-old woman with a history of stress urinary incontinence which required a MiniArc® Sling who presented with a hard, tender, immobile mass on the anterior vaginal wall. Pathological analysis of the mass revealed a tumor-like reaction to the polypropylene material that resembled a giant cell tumor of soft tissue.

Conclusion. The use of polypropylene in surgery is ubiquitous across disciplines; thus consideration for a tumor-like reaction to the material should exist for patients who present with a mass near the surgical site.

Now this part gets scary. Fortunately, my mesh was removed in October 2012 by Dr. Raz at UCLA.

Giant cell tumor of soft tissue (GCTST) is a rare lesion that has sporadically been reported in the literature as far back as the early 19th century Extraossseous giant cell tumors have been reported in numerous anatomical sites, such as the breast, head, neck, vulva, and superficial and deep fascia of skeletal muscle Histologically, GCTST is comparable to its bony counterpart, giant cell tumor of the bone (GCTB), demonstrating a mixture of mononuclear cells with round to oval nuclei and osteoclast-like multinucleated giant cells. Similar to GCTB, the majority of primary GCTST is thought to be benign; however, the metastatic potential of some GCTST lesions has been highlighted in the literature, with the most common site of metastasis being the lungs

We have all been aware of the foreign body reaction to implants for some time and believe me, I have shared articles about this on Facebook Mesh Angels.

Recently, it was reported that a giant cell granuloma grew around polypropylene suture that had been used in a tendon transfer procedure, and the histopathology was consistent with a foreign-body reaction to the polypropylene material. Similarly, there was a case of a suture granuloma that occurred 12 years after an open appendectomy, and several reports in the literature describe foreign-body reactions caused by suture material that mimic cancer. The possible carcinogenicity of polypropylene mesh was noted by the World Health Organization in 1999 following several animal studies; however, its carcinogenicity in humans has not been established. Despite widespread use of polypropylene, there are only a limited number of reported cases to suggest carcinogenicity.

How do we know how many people will get cancer from their mesh? The truth is, we learn over the years that things that happen because of medical surgeries, are indeed NOT RARE, just under reported. Therefore, everyone needs to be aware of this and make sure, if your loved one died because of hernia or pelvic mesh complications, you may want to have an independent autopsy done, especially if they were part of a lawsuit. Inflammation is a huge problem and can cause many health issues, including heart disease.

The presence of foreign bodies is known to induce inflammation, and foreign-body induced inflammation is a recognized factor known to modulate tumor progression. Giant cell tumors of the vagina are extremely rare. To our knowledge, the case that we are reporting is the first case of a tumor-like reaction resembling primary giant cell tumor of the vagina in the English-language literature. A systematic search was conducted on the Pubmed database using the search terms “giant cell tumor soft tissue,” “giant cell tumor vagina,” and “giant cell tumor pelvis.” We report a case of a tumor-like reaction with features of benign GCTST in the vagina associated with polypropylene mesh and discuss the clinicopathological features of this lesion.

Yes, they share a case for you to read.

A 49-year-old woman presented to clinic due to pelvic pressure and dyspareunia. Her medical history was significant for Graves’ disease and tricuspid regurgitation. Her surgical history was significant for a MiniArc sling for stress urinary incontinence four years prior to presentation, endometrial ablation for abnormal uterine bleeding two years ago, remote C-section, and a laparoscopic bilateral tubal ligation. During examination, a hard, tender, and immobile mass was palpated on the anterior wall of the vagina. The epithelium covering the mass was intact and there was no discharge or bleeding noted during the examination. Due to her complaints of urinary urgency and frequency, cystourethroscopy was initially performed. No abnormality was found in the urethra by evaluation using a 0-degree cystoscope. The intravesical cavity was without any abnormal findings using a 70-degree cystoscope and with complete evaluation of the entire bladder including all edges. An MRI revealed a lesion measuring 3.1 x 2.4 x 2.2 cm shown along the anterior wall of the vagina, adjacent to the base of the bladder.

The patient opted for removal of the vaginal mesh as dyspareunia had occurred after its placement. Vaginal excision of the mesh and surrounding mass was performed by making a vertical incision in the anterior vaginal wall, and cystourethroscopy confirmed the integrity of the bladder and urethra following the procedure. Specimens of the mesh and surrounding mass were sent to pathology for evaluation. It consisted of red-pink soft tissue measuring 3.2 cm admixed with blood clot.

I am going to give you the link so that you can read it all, but this paragraph is also important.

Limited data exist regarding the complications of polypropylene mesh in the vagina after the body has been exposed to this material for several decades. A follow-up study of 90 women on the long-term efficacy of the tension-free vaginal tape procedure for stress urinary incontinence showed an objective 90% cure rate after 11.5 years with no adverse effects from the polypropylene tape material or erosion into adjacent tissues. Despite the wide use of polypropylene mesh, there has not been an established relationship between cases of human cancer attributed to the material.

Last this is more information you need to think about.

In a recent case report, recurrence of colon cancer was suspected after a suspicious lesion appeared on CT and PET scans, requiring exploratory laparotomy; a giant cell granuloma had developed around mesh used for prior abdominal hernia repair, demonstrating the ability of these lesions to mimic cancer and unavoidable surgical intervention.

In summary, we describe the first case of a tumor-like reaction resembling a primary GCTST in the vagina. Giant cell tumors are rare and likely underrecognized. The foreign-body reaction can make the clinical picture confusing. Consistent with the histology, the lesion in our patient could have developed as a result of the foreign-body reaction to the polypropylene mesh that had been used in the sling. Despite the benign nature of GCTST, formation of any mass can be very stressful for patients, specifically if they have had a prior diagnosis of cancer and are concerned for recurrence. Further research is warranted to better understand the inflammatory reaction to polypropylene due to its widespread use in gynecological procedures and the increased risk that patients may develop a mass late in life, as a result of material used during surgery.

So what do doctors think about this? Naturally they are not going to blame mesh as a cause of cancer. However, they don’t want to change anything and they love implanting these slings. This is their answer  and as you will see, more than one case has been diagnosed.  How many more have been diagnosed?  As the years go by, I have no doubt there will be many more.
Here is the link  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00192-015-2892-5

What about bowel cancer?  Here is another link.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10397-010-0563-6

So, what do you think?  If something like this has happened to you, please leave a comment.

I am not posting this blog to cause widespread fear, but to give information, in hopes it can save a life. I also believe that now women are going to trial in the future, because their offer of compensation from the manufacturer is so small, they need this information to help their case.
No matter what type of surgery you have had, first thing is to get your operative report(s) and read everything. Keep them stored with all your other important papers.  Regardless of what doctors think or believe, women need to know about this and act accordingly.

Here is the link, but I am also going to give you another link for you to read, that is written in a book about a man who had a gunshot would which was fixed with mesh.
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/criog/2017/6701643/ Case report of woman.

I cannot copy any of this report but the gist of it is that mesh was in this man’s body for 14 years and they found a large tumor. https://www.jscimedcentral.com/Surgery/surgery-4-1041.pdf

This link will help explain granulation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granulation

 

14 Comments

  1. Kitty

    An MRI last year showed a small adrenal lesion. The 3 mesh implants were done in 2002. My primary Dr says he will keep an eye on it.

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      I am glad you are on top of this. Kitty I did send you and email but never heard from you.

      Reply
  2. Kitty

    I did get your e mail. Unfortunately I was unable to get to Dr Raz$$. I saw Dr Hibner and am in physical therapy. I did get settlement…but not received. I will use it to go there to see Dr Raz.. I have never had a trans labial ultra sound…The SUI sling eroded thru urethra and rectocele bio/poly was scraped out of pelvic floor. Just taking suppositories and pain meds. Imagine I still work as consultant.. 16 he per week. Most of the $ will be lost to subragation ..spelling?? I am 72 now. 4 months after mesh..the horrible sharp back pain. They said it had nothing to do with mesh. Walking 10 miles down to < 1 mile in a year. 2002. Today …crutches for 3 blocks and <1 block by self. With walker 1 block and hips freeze…disabled.

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      Kitty your back pain has everything to do with the mesh. Everything you describe is all about the mesh implant, so I hope you will make it out to UCLA because they know what you say is true.

      Reply
  3. Joy F Saker

    Thanks so much for the information. As I have a tendency to develop Giant Cell Tumours on tendons (one foot, two fingers), I’ll keep this info filed.

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      I am glad you are paying attention to your body and I know now that you are aware, you will ask questions and make sure that you find a doctor who will listen to you.

      Reply
  4. Kitty

    Thanks Linda for all the research and sharing. Re: Joy..I was interested in GIANT CELL TUMOR. I developed a neuroma on Left toe several months after mesh. The first Poduatrist I went to was very concerned and ordered an MRI. I freaked because I thought I might have Cancer. I didnt fo back to him..but went to another Podiatrist and he didnt seem to be that concerned. He said it was arthritis and operated. I developed a moderate foot drop.

    Reply
  5. Jonathan

    I had an umbilical hernia mesh implanted in in late 2015, in april 2017 I had what was classified as a GIST tumor directly under the mesh and atteched to it. It was the size of a nerf football. I have been on the drug Imatnib and have had no signs of any other tumors forming since the removal.

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      Jonathon thank you so much for posting this because it proves that the mesh implants do cause major complications. I am sure many will appreciate what you have written and I hope your case against the manufacturer (if you have one0 will reflect it. If you read this, can you tell me who removed it. I am sure others are looking for a good doctor.

      Reply
  6. Jai

    I have not been diagnosed with anything exactly yet but having problems eating since a bariatric hiatal hernia repair 18 mo ago involving mesh. I am getting scoped finally next week to see the issue. In addition I had a rectocele repair early 2000s not sure if mesh was used but maybe. Around 2009 I had a repair to help the bladder involving mesh. I have been having female issues for years but just found out I had an abnormal pap and am going for a biopsy next week. May be too soon to know, but yikes!

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      Jai I am so sorry you are dealing with this and I am sure this is very scary for you. Please keep in touch and let me know how things go. I really care.

      Reply
  7. Tim Tarras

    July of 17 i had hernia surgical mesh to fix my hernia. Now a year later i have peritoneal cancer and no known source. The VA did the surgery. And now they are giving chemo for the cancer.

    Reply
    1. Linda (Post author)

      Tim, I am so sad for you and your family. This is not right.

      Reply
  8. Jackie

    Hi I had a Tvt sling plus a posterior and anterior mesh repairs. They also cut into my blader by mistake which caused complications after surgery.
    I have lost eye sight and been diagnosed with Polymalga Rummatica and Giant Cell Arteritis which is an autoimmune diseases and last year was diagnosed with Lobular breast cancer in both breasts last year. I have had a bad time with the autoimmune diseases and cancer since doing my own research I am convinced that this is down to the mess procedures done in 2006 in the UK.
    Before this I was very fit and healthy never been ill was a half marathon runner.

    Reply

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