In 1996, the Brind quantitative meta-analysis of the extant induced abortion and breast cancer studies showed that there were 23 studies, 10 of which were statistically significant. Since then, there has been no tabulation to include the studies after 1997. An unpublished review in 2003 showed that there were 40 studies which showed a positive association between induced abortion and breast cancer.
In 2004, the Beral “re-analysis” was purported to review the literature regarding the induced abortion breast cancer studies. There were many articles in the popular press asserting that this study showed that “more accurate” prospective studies did not show a link between abortion and breast cancer. A positive association was found with the retrospective studies, but this result was reported to be “misleading” in the abstract.
However, there were many major flaws in this “re-analysis.” This study eliminated 14 published studies which had been subjected to peer review confirming the abortion breast cancer link, including a prospective study that showed a 90% increase in breast cancer
risk with abortion. This demonstrated blatant selection bias.
However of the 53 “studies” reported upon, 28 were sets of data that had not been previously published, yet they were reported upon as “studies.”
There is no way to examine those data sets to be certain each set can be credibly used as “a study.” There was no scrutiny of peer review. There is no information as to the length of time patients were followed after the abortion; it takes a minimum of 8-10 years to develop a clinically detectable cancer after exposure to abortion. There is no way to know if the women were mostly women who had already given birth or if they had not; women without a birth are at higher risk.
A full critique of this flawed study can be found on the BCPI web site on the Published Papers page.
Frequently, BCPI has been queried about the number of studies showing a positive correlation or statistically significant results regarding induced abortion and breast cancer. A recent literature search was done by BCPI president, Dr. Lanfranchi, to answer that question.
Since 1957 there has been 66 studies done which looked at the relation of induced abortion and breast cancer, including 53 which showed a positive correlation and 25 that were statistically significant. There were only 13 which showed no association.
What is most telling is that one study author, Louise Brinton, had been a leader at the 2003 NCI Workshop on Early Reproductive Events and Breast Cancer Risk which concluded that there was no association between breast cancer and induced abortion. In 2009, Louise Brinton has now reported that there is a 40% statistically significant increase of breast cancer with induced abortion. Recent studies from Turkey, Iran and China have been published in the last 5 years. The list of these studies will be available soon on the BCPI website’s Resources Page. We hope that this list of studies will be useful to you so that women will be informed of this preventable risk.
LifeNews.com Note: Dr. Angela Lanfranchi is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey who has extensively explained how abortion increases the breast cancer risk.