Reply-To:     Cancer Prevention Coalition 
Contact: Keith Ashdown
For Immediate Release
May 11, 1995

Cancer Risks To Be Detailed at Silicone Device Conference

Washington, D.C. -   Dr. Samuel Epstein, Professor of Environmental and
Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois (at Chicago) School of
Public Health and internationally recognized authority on cancer prevention,
will present evidence, including an unpublished Dow study, on the cancer risks
of silicone breast implants at the May 13 Silicone Device Conference.

"Recent Dow Corning advertisements on the safety of breast implants are
deceptive in the extreme and are highly unethical," commented Dr. Epstein.

Dr. Epstein will offer a detailed critique of the Dow ads, in addition to a
wide range of other evidence on the cancer risks of breast implants, at the
conference to be held at 9:00 a.m. at the Washington Renaissance Hotel, 999
9th St. N.W. Washington, DC. He will charge the implant industry and
government with a cover-up of these risks to some two million women.
Highlights will include:

Unpublished Dow Corning studies discovered in a 1987 FDA inspection showed
that silicone gel injection induced highly malignant tumors in rats.  FDA
scientists concluded in a  confidential memorandum that: "While there is no
direct proof that silicone causes cancer in humans, there is considerable
evidence that it can do so." Accordingly, it was recommended that "a medical
alert be issued to warn the public of the possibility of malignancy following
long term implant(ation)."

A 1994 report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute confirmed the
carcinogenicity of silicone gel in experiments with mice.

A 1989 confidential FDA report admitted " numerous case reports of (breast)
cancer" long after implantation. The report concluded that population studies,
claimed as proof of safety by industry and plastic surgeons, are too short
term and flawed to "negate the potential risk of cancer." The report also
warned of the "possibility of worsened diagnosis" and prognosis when implanted
women developed breast cancer. These conclusions were fully confirmed in a
1993 congressionally-mandated report  by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Large scale use of foam-wrapped implants  ignored evidence published in the
early 1960's by NCI's leading authority on carcinogenesis, the late Dr.
Wilhelm  Hueper.  Hueper's studies showed  that foam gradually degrades and
induces malignant tumors in rats.  He warned:  "Since the polyurethane
plastics have been used in cosmetic surgery. . . these observations are of
practical importance. . .(and) should caution against (their) indiscriminate

Over 350,000 women with silicone implants wrapped in industrial polyurethane
foam to reduce scarring are at higher risk of cancer. Polyurethane foam is
manufactured from the carcinogenic toluene diisocyanate (TDI) which breaks
down into another carcinogen, TDA. It should be further noted that TDA was
removed from hair dyes by the cosmetic industry in 1971 following discovery of
its carcinogenicity.

In 1985, a Bristol-Myers subsidiary admitted that: "Degradation products of
polyurethane are toxic and in some cases carcinogenic. . .The breakdown
products of the fuzzy implant material may well be carcinogenic.  How would
anyone defend himself in a malpractice suit of a patient developed a breast

At a 1985 industry-sponsored conference, a leading plastic surgeon cautioned
that "foam could be a time bomb. . . (in view of its) carcinogenic potential.
Surgeons should not go on implanting." Following identification of TDA in
foam, a Bristol-Myers employee warned ". .  . there is pretty solid evidence
that (it) is a carcinogen.  The question is does PU foam. . .release TDA in
the human breast to an extent that causes an unacceptable risk of cancer."

Dr. Epstein will urge that the FDA issue a medical alert to all implanted
women, with priority for those with foam implants.  He also will urge that
these women  should be offered a program of comprehensive medical surveillance
and be given the option of having their implants removed, both at industry's
expense. "Dow Corning and other implant makers should be responsible for all
costs," Dr. Epstein said.

# # #

Dr. Epstein is the chair of the Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC), a
Chicago-based, national coalition of leading independent experts on cancer
prevention and public health, together with citizen activists, organized
labor, and public interest and women's cancer groups.

The  Silicone Device Conference is sponsored by the TRIAD SILICONE NETWORK
(910) 854- 5338.  Founded by Ms. Jill Stone, it is one of the leading advocacy
organizations for women with breast implants.