Kerry Adams faces treatment for stage two lymphoma. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Kerry Adams faces treatment for stage two lymphoma. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

Why this mum was relieved to have cancer

BEING diagnosed with cancer came as a relief for Queensland mother Kerry Adams.

It meant she wasn't losing her mind. That the crippling pain and endless health problens, that had made her want to end her life, were real.

The mother-of two is the 112th Australian woman to be diagnosed with BIA-ALCL - a lymphoma cancer linked to breast implants.

Four of those women have died and a massive class action could be launched against the implant manufacturers, with some of the state's biggest law firms investigating dozens of cases.

 

Kerry Adams with children Ava, 8, and Phoenix, 12. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Kerry Adams with children Ava, 8, and Phoenix, 12. Picture: Nigel Hallett

 

After hearing about concerns linking breast implants with cancer, the 41-year-old Deception Bay woman decided to have her implants removed earlier this month.

It was then, shortly after the explant surgery that Ms Adams found out she had stage-two lymphoma - a cancer of the lymphatic system.

"It was a relief to be told I had cancer, as I finally had some kind of diagnosis that I could deal with," she told The Courier-Mail.

Ms Adams decided to get breast implants four years ago after suffering low self-esteem following breastfeeding.

Not long after, she started feeling unwell escalating in rapid weight loss, hair loss, blindness and her arms were so sore she could barely lift them.

But the shock diagnosis has come as a relief.

"I'm not going to let this cancer kill me, not after surviving the last months of hell, begging my mum to just let me die," she said.

"I wasn't able to play with my kids while those breasts were inside of me.

"Now they are gone I feel great.

"I know that sounds weird considering I have cancer.

"I want to enjoy time with the kids now, so I can't die."

 

Kerry Adams shows off her new implants in a selfie
Kerry Adams shows off her new implants in a selfie

 

 

Kerry Adams in hospital
Kerry Adams in hospital

 

Ms Adams is now waiting to hear what treatment is necessary to save her life.

She had textured Allergan implants which were pulled off the market in July.

This week, eight different breast implants were suspended from supply in Australia for six months, and conditions have been placed on supply of all other breast implants and tissue expanders by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The eight models that have been suspended come from manufacturers including Allied Scientific Products, Emagin, Euro Implants and JT Medical.

In most cases, the implant-associated cancer is found in scar tissue and fluid near the implant but in some cases can spread throughout the body.

Ms Adams had toxic liquid removed from her left breast during her explant operation in Brisbane.

Some of Queensland's biggest law firms are investigating dozens of inquiries from Queensland women impacted by Allergan implants.

Legal experts from Slater and Gordon say they are working on the scale and commonality of the problems and, while it is early days in their investigations, it could lead to a class action.

"More than 25 per cent of Slater and Gordon's inquiries relating to the Allergan textured breast implants have been from Queensland," a spokesman told The Courier-Mail.

"We are currently working to assess the scale of the problem across the country but continue to get inquiries each day."

 

 

The law firm has had many dozens of calls from women across Australia.

Maurice Blackburn has said they too have received inquiries in relation to Allergan implants but are not looking at a class action.

Shine lawyers report an increase in inquiries from women who have suffered complications from breast implant surgery.

Allergan Australia told The Courier-Mail safety remained its highest priority.

"There continues to be no recommendation from any health authority, including the TGA, for asymptomatic patients to have their textured breast implants removed or replaced prophylactically," a spokesman said.

"Patients and healthcare professionals can also contact medinfo.australia@allergan.com or 1800 252 224.

"Allergan provides warranty coverage to help offset the costs associated with certain health concerns, should that become necessary.

"Patients with Allergan implants are eligible for assistance with out-of-pocket surgical costs, not covered by insurance, related to adverse events."