Is there a link between abortion and breast cancer?
This question has lingered in medical research for decades. It has been the source of much speculation and observation, and taken on in countless studies. Some of the more recent findings have yielded new insights about this correlation, and call for a renewed dedication to understanding the risk it may pose to women.
A Brief History
The link between abortion and the risk of breast cancer has been studied extensively by endocrinologist Joel Brind, whose comprehensive analysis revived the debate several decades ago. Dr. Brind, who has devoted much of his professional life to examining the ABC link, asserted that women who have had at least one induced abortion increased their risk of developing breast cancer by 30 percent. (Yeoman, 2003) Dr. Bind has been a trailblazer in challenging the medical community’s longstanding contention that there is no evidence of a relationship between induced abortion and breast cancer.
Recent studies from India and China have offered some of the most compelling data yet in establishing a correlation between induced abortion and breast cancer risk for women. Since 2008, 12 different studies have been found examining the ABC link in India. All 12 have confirmed it! This is especially significant because India’s subjects are ideal for studies of this kind. In advanced countries such as the United States, women are more likely to conceive later in life, practice birth control, and use artificial breastmilk. Such practices occur much less frequently in India. In essence, other risk factors that potentially contribute to breast cancer in American women are absent in India, thus yielding more pure results in looking for a link.
Similarly, a recent meta-analysis (of 36 independent studies) done in China revealed a significant risk increase for women who have terminated pregnancies. Chinese women having one abortion were at 44 percent higher risk of breast cancer. For women that had two or more abortions, the risk spiked to 76 percent!
Between 1957 and 2013, there were at least 73 studies involving the ABC link, with 57 revealing a positive correlation. According to Breast Cancer Surgeon Angela Lanfranchi, 34 of the 57 (57 %) are considered “statistically significant”. (Bilger, 2016) Dr. Lanfranchi has been a vigorous proponent of the link’s existence, citing world-wide studies, as well as data observed in her own practice. “There is a misperception that scientists at the national cancer institute in my country do not support that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer. In fact, they do.”
Current research suggests that there is good reason to believe induced abortion and future cancer risk in women are related. Even skeptics within the medical community cannot pledge with certainty there is no link. Every woman is entitled to know this.
What Do I Need to Know?
*Research showing a relationship between induced abortion and breast cancer is extensive
* There were 12 different studies done in India in 2014, all of which confirmed the ABC link.
* Recent data from China has shown women increase their risk of breast cancer by 44% after one abortion and by 76% after two.
* Risk increases with each abortion
* Having an induced abortion does not necessarily mean a woman will get cancer
* Several other risk factors contribute to the development of breast cancer in women.
* No one (even skeptics within the medical community) can guarantee women there is no link.
* Like other types of cancer, early detection is critical.
Bilger, M. (2016, August 12). Breast Cancer Surgeon Angela Lanfranchi: The Abortion-Breast Cancer Link is Real. Retrieved from: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/08/12/breast-cancer-surgeon-angela-lanfranchi-the-abortion-breast-cancer-link-is-real/
Davey, M. (2014, August 30). Angela Lanfranchi, who links abortion and cancer, stars at families congress. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/30/angela-lafranchi-who-links-abortion-and-cancer-stars-at-families-congress
Yeoman, B. (2003, February 01). The scientist who hated abortion. Retrieved from http://discovermagazine.com/2003/feb/feathated