Abortion Breast Cancer Study Ignored Latency Issues, Results Disputed

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 25, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Breast Cancer Study Ignored Latency Issues, Results Disputed Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 25
, 2007

Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) — A new study released earlier this week sought to put a stain on previous research showing that induced abortions result in a rise in the chance of developing breast cancer. However, the study ignored a 2003 report published in the journal BMC Cancer on latency issues.

The new study, published in the April 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA journal, involved researchers following women over a period of 10 years.

The women were asked about whether they had abortions or miscarriages during that time and whether they developed breast cancer afterwards.

Critics said the research was flawed because the researchers did not allow enough time following the abortion for the potential cancer to develop.

That analysis is confirmed by the BMC Cancer report which concluded "that the median latency time may be as long as 22 years." As a result, it would be impossible in a 10 year study for enough time to have elapsed for the breast cancer to develop following the abortions.

Authored by scientists at University Hospital in Sweden and the South Swedish
Regional Tumour Registry, the April 2003 report covered research on patients with possible radiation induced cancer to find out if tumor cell proliferation is related to latency time.

"Studies of breast cancer after exposure to ionizing irradiation points to latency times between 10–30 years," the researchers said. They found that the onset of breast cancer ranged from a low of seven years afterwards to a high of 59 years following exposure.

They also pointed out that exposure at a younger age — such as those of women in their childbearing years — will almost likely result in a longer delay in the onset of cancer.

"In general radiation exposures at very young ages have been associated with longer latency times for breast cancer than exposure at higher ages," the Swedish scientists wrote. "Excess risk has not appeared until 10 years after exposure and rarely before age 30."

In their group of patients the researchers examined, the media age of exposure was 34 while the media age at the time of the breast cancer diagnosis was 64.

As a result, the JAMA 10 year study is likely several times too short to get a full understanding of whether induced abortion leads to an increased risk of breast cancer.

That’s the conclusion of Joel Brind, president of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, who told LifeNews.com earlier this week "This isn’t the first time that Harvard Nurses Study researchers [8] have produced the wrong epidemiological results."

"They were wrong about combined hormone replacement therapy reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, and they’re wrong about abortion," he said.

Brind, a professor at New York’s Baruch College, pointed out that breast cancer cases have risen 40 percent since abortion was made virtually unlimited in the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade.

He said researchers should have analyzed only the abortions that occurred early in the study, allowing enough time after the abortion to see if breast cancer developed

In 1996, Brind and other researchers conducted analysis of all the major studies done in the field to that time.

They concluded that women who had an abortion before their first term child had a 50% increased risk of developing breast cancer while women who had an abortion after their first child sustained a 30% increased risk.

"I see no reason why this study would change my opinion that having an abortion increases the risk about 30% over not having gotten pregnant in the first place," Brind told the New York Times in response to the study.

“I believe also that this particular study, were the data properly handled and reported, would have come up with a result in agreement with that," he added.

A few years ago, the British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists confirmed Brind’s study and said it contained no major flaws or errors.