- Free Dominion Discussions on Breast Cancer – Oral Contraception Link:
- Study: Breast Cancer Risk 66% Higher in Turkish Women with Abortions
A study conducted by Dr. Vahit Ozmen and his colleagues at the Istanbul University Medical Faculty reported a statistically significant 66% increase in breast cancer risk among women who had induced abortions. The researchers wrote that their finding is similar to the findings of the “majority” of studies, which have “reported that induced abortion was associated with increased breast cancer risk.” However, the study also found that spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) and the use of oral contraceptives was associated with the decreased risk of breast cancer – a finding that the researchers said contradicts the results of numerous other studies, necessitating further study. The researchers conducted a survey among women admitted to clinics of the Istanbul Medical Faculty for examination and/or treatment of cancer related illness. The results were compared with control cases admitted to hospital for non-cancer, non-hormone related diseases. The report was published in the online medical journal World Journal of Surgical Oncology. With regard to the finding of decreased risk of breast cancer for oral contraceptives users, the researchers observed that their study results were at odds with many epidemiologic studies which found that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and oral contraceptive use are directly related to increased breast cancer risk. The World Health Organization and the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) acknowledge that use of combined (estrogen + progestin) OCs and combined HRT increase risk of breast cancer. “In the present study, we found that use of oral contraceptive use was associated with decreased breast cancer risk,” the report states. “However, these results were not dose and duration dependent. Therefore, further studies are required to test the consistency of our findings.” While the researchers suggest that the study group was fairly representative of the general population, with over 80% of patients admitted to Istanbul Medical Faculty Hospital residing in the Istanbul area, they admit that a hospital based study has the potential for bias: the reason being that hospitalized individuals are more likely to suffer from many illnesses or symptoms. “We are aware that this hospital based study has some potential such as selection biases and information bias,” Dr. Ozmen acknowledged. Dr. Joel Brind, professor of endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York and a director at the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, commented that while Dr. Ozmen’s findings were consistent with extensive research on the abortion/breast cancer (ABC) link, the team may actually have underestimated Turkish women’s breast cancer risk associated with abortion, due to the selection bias mentioned by Ozmen. According to Brind’s hypothesis, a disproportionate number of “modern” women were likely represented among the controls, a group more likely to use HRT and OCs, have abortions and visit the hospital often for minor complaints. By contrast, a disproportionate number of “traditional” women were represented among the patients; women less likely to use HRT and OCs, have abortions and visit the hospital (except in cases of serious illness, like breast cancer). Dr. Brind concluded that, “the simple operation of selection bias that explains the contrary results of the study (lower risk in OC and HRT users), suggests that the results obtained for induced abortion likely represent an underestimate of the true ABC link in the Turkish population.” Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer echoed Dr. Brind’s statement on the ABC link. She cautioned that mainline medical journals may not publish the Turkish study results because of an agenda-driven campaign to suppress results of ABC research. “Although the NCI, the nation’s largest funder of cancer-research, and others have worked feverishly to suppress the ABC link by publishing fraudulent research and even leaning on scientists whose studies have shown risk increases among women who have abortions, honest research occasionally escapes the NCI’s purview,” Malec said. (Source)
- New Study Shows Abortion is ‘Best Predictor of Breast Cancer’
The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons published a study yesterday entitled, “The Breast Cancer Epidemic.” It showed that, among seven risk factors, abortion is the “best predictor of breast cancer,” and fertility is also a useful predictor. The study by Patrick Carroll of PAPRI in London showed that countries with higher abortion rates, such as England & Wales, could expect a substantial increase in breast cancer incidence. Where abortion rates are low (i.e., Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic) a smaller increase is expected. Where a decline in abortion has taken place, (i.e., Denmark and Finland) a decline in breast cancer is anticipated….See report here. (Source)
- The Pill May Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer, According To A Large Study Of Younger Women
Women who have ever used the Pill face a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer, according to one of the largest studies on oral contraceptive use, the 3rd European Breast Cancer Conference heard on Friday, March 22. The women’s risk rose by just over a quarter (26%) compared with women who had never used the Pill. Women who were still using the Pill had an increased risk of just over a half (58%) compared with never-users. The highest increased risk was amongst women aged 45 or over who were still using the Pill their risk of developing breast cancer was nearly one and a half times (144%) the risk of never-users.(Source)
- Breast cancer and endometrial cancer are increased
Epidemiological studies consistently demonstrate an increased risk of breast cancer in women who used combined menopausal therapy. Largely confined to current or recent users, the risk increases with duration of use and exceeds that in women taking estrogen-only therapy. Endometrial cancer risks depend on the number of days that progestogens are included in the combined therapy. When progestogens are taken fewer than 10 days per month, the risk of endometrial cancer is increased, but when progestogens are taken daily, the risk is similar to that in women who never used hormonal therapy. There was not sufficient evidence to conclude that hormonal therapy has a protective effect at any cancer site. (Source)
- Estrogen Carcinogenesis in Breast Cancer: In this article, we review recent findings related to estrogenexposure and the risk of breast cancer, the mechanisms thatmay be involved, and the clinical implications of these
findings.The weight of evidence indicates that exposure to estrogen isan important determinant of the risk of breast cancer. The mechanisms of carcinogenesis in the breast caused by estrogen include the etabolism of estrogen to genotoxic, mutagenic metabolites andthe stimulation of tissue growth. Together, these processescause initiation, promotion, and progression of carcinogenesis.Insight into the mechanisms of the causation of cancer by estrogenwill identify determinants of susceptibility (Source)
- Breast Cancer & Oral Contraception
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is an annual campaign to build public awareness about the disease as well as to raise funds for research. What does this educational campaign have to do with contraception? It has to do with the fact that many types of oral contraceptives contain synthetic estrogen, a steroid believed to have a role in the development of breast cancer. Over the past two decades, multiple analyses and studies have provided convincing evidence that using oral contraceptives increases the risk of breast cancer. (See “For Further Reading” below.) The evidence keeps mounting — separate studies published in the January 2006 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, the October 2006 edition of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, and the October 2006 edition of Mayo Clinic Proceedings  confirm the increased risk…. (Source)
- Major U.S. Study Shows Oral Contraceptives Increase Breast Cancer Risk 44 % – Oral contraceptives increase the risk of breast cancer by an average of 44 percent, a comprehensive analysis of world studies on the link between breast cancer and contraceptives has found. Published in the journal of the Mayo Clinic this month, the key article examines findings from a careful analysis of nternational studies conducted between 1980-2002. Entitled “Oral Contraceptive Use as a Risk Factor for Pre-menopausal Breast Cancer: A Meta-analysis, the article finds an increased risk for breast cancer of 44 percent, in pre-menopausal women who took or were taking oral contraceptives prior to their first pregnancy, compared to women who had not used oral contraceptives. Of the twenty-three studies examined, twenty-one showed an increased risk of breast cancer with oral contraceptive use prior to a first pregnancy in pre-menopausal women. The combined results showed an over-all risk increase for breast cancer of 44 percent. Dr. Chris Kahlenborn, lead author of the report, said his entire team believes the standards of informed consent demand that women must be warned of the potential risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer before they take oral contraceptives, in a press release from the Polycarp Research Institute. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer in women worldwide and the most common cause of cancer death in US women between age 20 and 59, the report stated, pointing out the breast cancer rates have risen steadily over the past four decades worldwide, and have risen even faster in developed countries, especially among young women. The study re-enforces the 2005 classification of oral contraception as a Type 1 carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) to humans by the International Agency for Cancer Research. Researchers have increasingly warned about an additional link between breast cancer and abortion, found to be significant in multiple studies throughout the world. The abortion/breast cancer link has been consistently ignored or denied, however, by leading cancer institutes in Europe and North America. Read study here.
- The Pill: “the largest unregulated human trial that’s ever been conducted” Birth Control Pill Link to Breast Cancer by Terry VanderheydeCHICAGO, March 7, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A world leader in cancer causes and prevention has warned that the so-called birth control pill is “the largest unregulated human trial
that’s ever been conducted.” Dr. Sam Epstein, author of Cancer-Gate: How to Win the Losing Cancer War and Professor of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, told the
CBC’s Marketplace that exposure to the hormones estrogen and progestin, as found in the pill, increase breast cancer risk. Marketplace author Wendy Mesley,
herself a breast cancer survivor, explained that the World Health Organization’s
International Agency for Research on Cancer last year re-classified hormonal
contraceptives as carcinogenic to humans.Dr. Chris Kahlenborn, M.D. demonstrated that a woman who takes birth control pills before her first child is born has at least a 40 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer and a woman who has taken the pill for four or more years prior to the birth of her first child has a 72 percent risk factor in developing breast cancer. Dr. Kahlenborn’s book, “Breast cancer: Its link to abortion and the birth control pill,” published by
One More Soul, is based on six years of study and a meticulous analysis of
hundreds of scientific papers and other sources. A European study, which looked at 103,000 women aged between 30 and 49 in Norway and Sweden found the risk of developing breast cancer rose by 26% for women who had taken the pill over those who had never used it. Moreover, women who had used the pill for long periods of time increased their risk of breast cancer by 58%. The study also found that women over 45 still using the pill had an increased risk of 144%. The British Medical Journal revealed that the pill increases a woman’s risk of developing cerebrovascular disease by 1.9 times while increasing the tendency to cervical cancer by 2.5 times. The 25 year follow-up study with 46,000 British women alsonoted that the enhanced risk of death lasts for 10 years after women have stopped taking the pill.
- Breast Cancer: It’s Link to Abortion and the Birth Control Pill
Based on six years of study and a meticulous analysis of hundreds of scientific papers and other sources, Dr. Chris Kahlenborn documents the effect that abortion and hormonal contraception have on breast cancer, as well as uterine, cervical, liver, and other cancers, and even the transmission of AIDS! Hormonal contraceptive use before first full term pregnancy is found to increase risk of breast cancer by at least 40%. The book gives special attention to black women, to various populations of the world, and to effective steps for prevention. This is a very timely and powerful work.According to Kahlenborn, “Based on the most comprehensive medical evidence available, induced abortion and the birth
control pill are both independent risk factors for the development of breast
cancer. The risk is especially great if the woman has participated in either of
these factors at a young age.” Kahlenborn’s research indicates the following:
- A woman who has an abortion prior to her first full-term pregnancy can have at least a 50 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer.
- A woman who takes birth control pills before her first child is born has at least a 40 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer.
- A woman who has taken the pill for four or more years prior to the birth of her first child has a 72 percent risk factor in developing breast cancer.
- National Cancer Institute (U.S.): In an NCI-sponsored study published in 2003,
researchers examined risk factors for breast cancer among women ages 20 to 34 compared with women ages 35 to 54. Researchers analyzed data from 2,202 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1990 and 1992, and 2,209 women who did not have breast cancer. The results indicated that the risk of breast cancer was significantly increased for women ages 20 to 34 who had used OCs for at least 6 months. The risk associated with OC use was strongest for women who had used OCs within 5 years of breast cancer diagnosis.
Although also elevated, the risk was weaker for women over age 35 and
those who used OCs for longer periods of time… (Source: National Cancer
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: Dr. Janet Darling and colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in a  study commissioned by the National Cancer Institute, found that “among women who had been pregnant at least once, the risk of breast cancer in those who had . . . an induced abortion was 50 percent higher than among other women.” The risk of breast cancer for women under 18 or over 29 who had induced abortions was more than twofold. Women who abort and have a family history of breast cancer increase their risk 80 percent. The increased risk of women under 18 with that family history was incalculably high…Being pro-choice didn’t shield Darling from the usual attacks. She fought back. “If politics gets involved in science,” she then told the Los Angeles Daily News, “it will really hold back the progress that we make. I have three sisters with breast cancer, and I resent people messing with the scientific data to further their own agenda, be they pro-choice or pro-life. I would have loved to have found no association between breast cancer and abortion, but our research is rock solid, and our data is accurate. It’s not a matter of believing, it’s a matter of what is.” (Source: http://www.etters.net/cancerTP.htm#3)
- “These results suggest that women who haveever used earlier formulations of OCs and who also have a first-degreerelative with breast cancer may be at particularly high riskfor breast cancer.” (Source: Journal of American
- Investigators from Cancer Research UK’s Epidemiology Unit in Oxford and the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France reviewed data from 28 published studies (which included over 12,500 women with cervical cancer). The relative
risk of cervical cancer increased with increasing duration of use of oral
contraceptives. Compared with women who had never used hormonal
contraception the relative increases in risk were: 10% for less than 5 years
use; 60% for 5-9 year use; and over a doubling of cervical-cancer risk for 10
years use or more. The results were broadly similar for all types of cervical
cancers, and across studies that adjusted for HPV status, number of sexual
partners, cervical screening, smoking, or use of barrier contraceptives.
(Source: Science Blog)
- Women increase their risk of breast, cervical and liver cancer if they use oral contraceptives, according to a July 29 press release by the Lyon, France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Other recent studies show the greatest cancer risk
is to young women, particularly teenagers, who use the pill…. An international
ad hoc working group of 21 scientists from eight countries surveyed the existing
scientific literature at a June meeting but did not engage in any independent
research. Many epidemiological studies have investigated associations between
the use of combined oral contraceptives and the onset of cancer….The
scientists published a summary of their findings in the August 2005 issue of
Lancet Oncology, a British medical journal….According to the Lancet Oncology
article, “An IARC Monographs working group has concluded that combined
estrogen-progestagen oral contraceptives … are carcinogenic to humans [Group 1], after a thorough review of the published scientific evidence,” Group 1 is the highest cancer-risk classification. (Source: National Catholic Register)
- The contraceptive pill is not recommended because of the possible risk of hormonal stimulation of the breast cancer. (Source: BreastCancer.org)
- As there is a risk that the hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) in the contraceptive pill may stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells, women who have had breast cancer are usually advised not to take the pill. (Source:
- Women in the United States who used oral contraceptives before 1975 and whose mothers or sisters had breast cancer showed a substantially increased risk of developing the cancer, according to scientists at the Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota. Because of the study’s limitations, pill use after 1975 among women with a strong family history of breast cancer could not be adequately evaluated. The scientists concluded further research was needed to assess this risk. Their findings were published in the October 11, 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.[Grabrick DM, Hartmann LC, Cerhan JR, et al. Risk of breast cancer with oral contraceptive use in women with a family history of breast cancer. JAMA 2000; 284(14):1791-98.]…The sisters and daughters of breast cancer patients who took high-dose pills prior to 1975 and who had three blood relatives with breast cancer faced nearly a five-fold increased risk of developing the cancer, compared with women who did not use the pills. The risk was more than 11 times greater for high-dose users with five blood relatives with breast cancer. The results are similar to previous findings that link women with a family history of breast cancer to a higher risk of
breast cancer from pill use. [Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast
Cancer. Breast cancer and hormonal contraceptives: collaborative reanalysis of
individual data on 53,297 women with breast cancer and 100,239 women without breast cancer from 54 epidemiological studies. Lancet 1996;347(9017);1713-27; Rosenberg L, Palmer JR, Rao RS, et al. Case-control
study of oral contraceptive use and risk of breast cancer. Am J Epidemiol
1996;143(1):25-37. ] (Source: Family Health International)
- The study, which was undertaken by the Centre for Research in Women’s Health and the Women’s College Health Sciences Centre at the University of Toronto, examined the medical history and oral contraceptive use of 1,311 pairs of women known to carry certain types of gene mutation. The gene mutations apparently occur in women with a strong family history of breast cancer – women with one relative under 40 years of age who has had breast cancer, two under 60, or three of any age on the same side of a family who have suffered from the disease. The research found that women with the BRCA1 gene mutation and who have used oral contraceptives for five or more years have a 33 per cent increased risk of early onset of breast cancer, compared to women who have never used birth control pills. Dr Steven Narod and his team who carried out the research also found elevated risk levels for women who used birth control pills before the age of 30 and women who first used the pill before 1975. (Source: Netdoctor)
- Recent studies have confirmed that small increases in the risk of ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke, and breast and cervical cancer occur with the use of combined oral contraceptives. The risk of stroke is increased in smokers,
hypertensives and those older than 35 years. The relative risk of breast cancer
falls to unity within 10 years of discontinuing oral contraceptives. Most of the
elevation in risk of cervical cancer is associated with recent long-term use.
- Women found to be positive for human papillomavirus (HPV) who have used a combined oral contraceptive for 10 or more years are at increased risk of developing cervical cancer. The Cancer Council recommends that all women aged 18-70 years who have ever been sexually active have a Pap test every two years. Women who are using combined oral contraceptives or have used them in the past 10 years are at a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer. The Cancer Council recommends that all women aged 50–69 years have a
mammogram every two years through BreastScreen Australia. (Source: Cancer Council Australia)
- But they noted that oral contraceptives could also have other adverse effects, including pulmonary embolism, strokes, liver cancer, and, among smokers
who are over age 35, heart problems. (Source: BreastNet)
- Contraindications to OCP use:
1. History of DVT/PE/stroke/ischemic heart disease
2. Structural heart disease complicated by pulmonary hypertension, atrial fibrillation
3. Diabetes with retinopathy, nephropathy, or other vascular disease, or duration >20 years
4. Breast cancer
5. Liver disease such as benign hepatic adenoma/liver cancer/active viral hepatitis/cirrhosis
6. Headaches with focal neurologic symptoms
7. Major surgery with prolonged immobilization
8. Over age 35 and heavy smoker
9. Hypertension with BP
160+/100+, or with vascular disease
10. Severe liver disease (Source: Harvard University)
Mainstream media outlets and other medical authorities (including some of the ones noted above) rely principally on a 1996 flawed study to support their opinion that there is no (or only a neglible) link between oral contraceptive and breast cancer:
A 1996 analysis of worldwide epidemiologic data conducted by the Collaborative
Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer found that women who were current or
recent users of birth control pills had a slightly elevated risk of developing breast cancer. However, 10 years or more after they stopped using OCs, their risk of developing breast cancer returned to the same level as if they had never used birth control pills. In addition, breast cancers diagnosed in women after 10 or more years of not using OCs were less advanced than breast cancers diagnosed in women who had never used OCs. To conduct this analysis, the researchers examined the results of 54 studies. The analysis involved 53,297 women with breast cancer and 100,239 women without breast cancer. More than 200 researchers participated in this combined analysis of their original studies, which represented about 90 percent of the epidemiological studies throughout the world that had investigated the possible relationship between OCs and breast cancer….The return of risk to normal levels after 10 years or more of not taking OCs was consistent regardless of family history of breast cancer, reproductive history, geographic area of residence, ethnic background,
differences in study design, dose and type of hormone, and duration of use. The
change in risk also generally held true for age at first use; however, for reasons that were not fully understood, there was a continued elevated risk among women who had started to use OCs before age 20. (Source: National Cancer
Question:: What are the weaknesses of the Oxford study (1996 Study Reported Above) and what implications do they have?
Response:The main weakness was the failure to report any evidence of what the pooled risk of oral contraceptive use before a first term pregnancy was in women less than 45 years old. Another major weakness is that the Oxford study pooled data
from studies which looked at women with breast cancer from the early and mid
1970s [17, p.5S].
A woman’s breast is especially sensitive to carcinogenic influence (ie, cancer producing influence) before she has her first child because the breast undergoes a maturing process throughout a woman’s first pregnancy. By failing to measure the effect of OCP use before a premenopausal woman’s first full-term pregnancy
(FFTP), the Oxford study failed to give data on the one group of women who are
most likely to get breast cancer from oral contraceptives, namely, those women
who used them before their FFTP (eg, many teenagers and women in their
The second weakness is that the Oxford study used data from older studies which took some of their data from the mid and early 1970s. This does not leave a long enough latent period. A latent period is the time between exposure to a suspected risk factor (eg, early OCP use) and the cancer which it increases (eg, breast cancer). Often the latent period between a risk factor and a cancer is 15 to 20 years or more (eg, cigarettes and lung cancer). Although women in the U.S. began taking OCPs in the 1960s, they only began taking them for longer periods of time at younger ages in the 1970s. Thus, only studies which include data from the 1980s and 1990s or beyond would allow a long enough latent period to pick up the influence of early OCP use.
Question: If the major studies showed the risks that have been mentioned, then why do doctors and pharmacists fail to inform their patients of those risks?
That is a good question. Major journals and major medical associations (eg, the AMA [American Medical Association], the ACOG [American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists], and the AAP [American Academy of Pediatrics]) have failed to stress or properly note this risk. Part of the problem is that because the OCP/breast cancer debate is complicated, most people have to rely on what “the experts” tell them.
A good example of this occurred recently in the Oxford study reported in a condensed version in The Lancet  and in complete form in Contraception . This study was and remains the largest meta-analysis (ie, a synthesis of all the major studies done in a particular field, concluding in an overall risk for the pooled studies) regarding the studies of OCPs and breast cancer. Researchers from around the world studied and combined the data from 54 studies, involving 25 countries and 53,297 women who had breast cancer. It concluded that: “Women who are currently using combined oral contraceptives or have used them in the past 10 years are at a slightly increased risk of having breast cancer diagnosed, although the additional cancers tend to be localized to the breast. There is no evidence of an increase in the risk of having breast cancer diagnosed 10 or more years after cessation of use. . .” Unfortunately, this
study is known more for what it did say, than what it did not say! There were
several major weaknesses of the study.
Question: What do the four largest studies, which take the bulk of their data after 1980, state regarding women who used OCPs prior to their first full-term pregnancy (FFTP)?
Response: The four largest retrospective studies** of parous women under the age of 45 all show at least a 40% increased risk for women who took OCPs prior to their FFTP or within 5 years of menarche. Two studies (Rosenberg and Brinton) did not list a formal risk but it was calculated from the data in their paper.
**An example of a retrospective study is one in which women with breast cancer would be interviewed and asked questions about their risk factors such as family history, OCP use, induced abortion, etc.
Question: Has anyone done a meta-analysis of retrospective studies that
examined the question of risk to women under the age of 45 who had taken OCPs
prior to their FFTP?
Response: Yes. Two different researchers have addressed this question. Thomas et al, in 1991, found that women who took OCPs for extended periods of time prior to their FFTP had a 44% increased risk [RR=1.44 (1.23-1.69)] . A more refined meta-analysis in 1990 by Romieu et al restricted her analysis to those studies done after 1980. The study showed that women under the age of 45 who had taken OCPs for 4
or more years prior to their FFTP had a 72% increased incidence
[RR=1.72 (1.36-2.19)] of breast cancer .
Abortion-Breast Cancer Links
- Abortion & Breast Cancer
- Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer
- Breast Cancer Prevention Institute
- The Deadly After-Effect of
Abortion: Breast Cancer
- Politics and the Abortion
Breast Cancer Link
- Abortion-breast cancer link
covered up by scientists?
- How National Cancer Institute
Scientists Betrayed Women Abortion and Breast Cancer: The Scientific Debate That
- Breast Cancer and Abortion:
Compelling Evidence– Official Denial
- Abortion-breast cancer link
covered up by scientists?
- The Abortion-Breast Cancer
Link: How Politics Trumped Science and Informed Consent
- Abortion, Breast Cancer, and
- Legal Implications of a Link: Between Abortion
and Breast Cancer
- Dr. Joel Brind in a heated debate at the Second
World Conference on Breast Cancer.
- Why is National Cancer
Institute Covering Up Link?
Mainstream media outlets and other medical authorities rely principally on one seriously flawed study (in opposition to the mountain of scientific studies arrayed against them) published in The Lancet to support their opinion that there is no (or only a neglible) link between abortion and breast cancer:
Breast cancer and abortion: collaborative re-analysis of data from 53 epidemiological studies, including 83 000 women with breast cancer from 16 countries
Background: The Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer has brought together the worldwide epidemiological evidence on the possible relation between breast cancer and previous spontaneous and induced abortions.
Methods: Data on individual women from 53 studies undertaken in 16 countries with liberal abortion laws were checked and analysed centrally. Relative risks of breast cancer—comparing the effects of having had a pregnancy that ended as an abortion with those of never having had that pregnancy—were calculated, stratified by study, age at diagnosis, parity, and age at first birth. Because the extent of under-reporting of past induced abortions might be influenced by whether or not women had been diagnosed with breast cancer, results of the studies—including a total of 44 000 women with breast cancer—that used prospective information on abortion (ie, information that had been recorded before the diagnosis of breast cancer) were considered separately from results of the studies—including 39 000 women with the
disease—that used retrospective information (recorded after the diagnosis of
Findings: The overall relative risk of breast cancer, comparing women with a prospective record of having had one or more pregnancies that ended as a spontaneous abortion versus women with no such record, was 0.98 (95% CI 0.92–1.04, p=0.5). The corresponding relative risk for induced abortion was 0.93 (0.89–0.96, p=0.0002). Among women with a prospective record of having had a spontaneous or an induced abortion, the risk of breast cancer did not differ significantly according to the number or timing of either type of abortion. Published results on induced abortion from the few studies with prospectively recorded information that were not available for inclusion here are consistent with these findings. Overall results for induced abortion differed substantially between studies with prospective and those with retrospective information on abortion (test for heterogeneity between relative risks: x²=33.1, p<0.0001).
Interpretation: Pregnancies that end as a spontaneous or induced abortion do not increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. Collectively, the studies of breast cancer with retrospective recording of induced abortion yielded misleading results, possibly because women who had developed breast cancer were, on average, more likely than other women to disclose previous induced abortions. (Source : Lancet, 3/27/2004, Vol. 363 Issue 9414, p1007)
From the American Journal of Physicians and Surgeons (March, 2005)
There is a legal obligation of informed consent for any medical procedure. With the majority of studies showing that abortion increases breast cancer risk, and even the minority studies reinforcing the well-established principle that childbirth is protective against breast cancer, patients seeking abortion have an obvious right to this information. The patient who had an abortion and later develops breast cancer may have a valid claim against the provider.
Already there have been at least two settlements in the United States in lawsuits brought for such failure to disclose. Unfortunately, misinformation has circulated in the media following an article published last year in the British medical journal . The article did not deny that increased abortions result in greater incidence of breast cancer. Rather, the article merely claimed that abortion does not increase the risk of breast cancer, compared to the risk of someone who delayed pregnancy altogether. The article and data are consistent with the prevailing medical view that the more abortions in a society, the greater the number of breast cancer cases. Failure to diagnose breast cancer has now become the most common malpractice case.
There is also a public policy issue about who should pay for the enormous costs of increased breast cancer cases. Tobacco companies are now held liable for medical costs imposed by increased risk of cancer from smoking. Attorneys General of various states have sued to obtain enormous settlements from the tobacco industry. Should the logic be any different for physicians who perform abortions?
The Flawed Lancet article, does not deny that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. Instead, this assertion compares the risk of breast cancer from an abortion to a hypothetical case in which no pregnancy occurred in the first place. Once a pregnancy occurs, aborting that pregnancy does increase the risk of breast cancer for that individual. For society as a whole, more abortions do cause greater incidence of breast cancer in the future. Not even the article doubts this. Reports in the news media ignore the fact that the article relies entirely on a hypothetical comparison, first between pregnancy followed by an abortion, and second, no pregnancy at all. But neither the patient, nor the abortionist physician, nor the government, has the option of turning back the clock and undoing a pregnancy after it occurs, and childbirth is beneficial to health. The only possible alternatives are childbirth and abortion, and the article tacitly concedes that the latter increases the risk of breast cancer compared to the former. Nearly all studies have concluded likewise. The medical consensus is that carrying a pregnancy to term is healthier than terminating it by abortion. Women consenting to an abortion need this information in order for their consent to be informed
In other words, The Lancet paper was highly flawed because it compared women who had had abortions to women who had NEVER had children (which we know already have a higher risk of developing breast cancer) so the control population in this study
had a higher level of breast cancer in it than the ‘average’ population. Furthermore, women who never have children will never undergo the significant ‘breast transformation’ that women who have children do. This is why study after study has shown (and this is a proven fact) that women who have children significantly decrease their risk of developing breast cancer, and the younger they have children and the longer they breast feed them, the greater they reduce their risk. Women who never have children, regardless of family history, are at a much higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who do. Therefore, if pregnancy has such a profound effect on breast tissue then why is it ‘irrelevant’ to suggest that abruptly terminating a pregnancy will have an effect on breast tissue? You cannot deny that there is an incredible transformation that occurs in the breast tissue during a woman’s pregnancy. When a woman’s pregnancy is abruptly terminated, the breast cells are left in a sort
of ‘limbo’ (to put it in lay man’s terms). They had been dividing and changing to enable the mother to nurse. Being left in a sort of ‘divisional limbo’ is not a very good thing.