Britain has ordered an urgent review of the data used to assess the risks of breast implants made by French firm PIP, after receiving "conflicting" information, the health minister said Saturday.
While stressing there was still no evidence to justify fears of a cancer link, Andrew Lansley said he had asked an expert group to review British and foreign data about the implants, which are used by about 42,000 British women.
"I am concerned and I'm unhappy about the consistency and quality of data that has been provided by (implant) providers to the regulator," Lansley said.
"I've asked Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of the NHS, now to lead an expert group which will report to me early next week on the data."
The group's review will include "what the data is saying in this country and overseas, and... the regulation of quality and safety in the private cosmetic surgery sector", he said.
Earlier this month French authorities advised 30,000 women to have PIP implants removed because of an increased risk of rupture, despite insisting there is no proven link to cancer.
Britain has not recommended this step and has sought to reassure women that there is no evidence of a cancer risk, but Lansley said new data had come to light this week that had caused him some concern.
"We have been pursuing the question of what the data says. We have seen conflicting evidence," he told reporters.
"In particular yesterday we received information from one of the large private providers of cosmetic surgery that said they now had data that they had not previously disclosed to the regulator, and which was inconsistent with the data they'd provided to the regulator previously."
He added: "What I want through this is to give further reassurance to women that if there are safety concerns we will act in order to provide them with whatever remedy is required.
"But at the moment we don't have evidence that would justify any routine removal of these breast implants, and we don't have evidence of safety concerns."