A new study published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons this spring encourages more research to been done on breast cancer and abortion.
Researcher Patrick Carroll and his team looked at the rise in breast cancer cases in the UK and compared them with abortion rates and other fertility-related issues. Carroll said the research team found a correlation between the two.
They said childlessness is a known risk factor for breast cancer, as are hormone replacement therapy and hormonal contraceptives, but induced abortion is not commonly accepted as a possible risk.
They wrote: “In combination, the hormonal contraceptives and legally induced abortions can interact. The abortion leaves the breast cells in a state of interrupted development whereby they are disposed to become cancerous, and the estrogen in the hormonal contraceptives develops the incipient cancers. It is also known that estrogen can initiate new cancers by itself, and the effects of an abortion can amplify this.”
Globe News Wire reports more about the research:
[E]pidemiologists are not warning women of the additional risk of induced abortion, and British medical journals do not publish articles showing the link. Authors note that under the 1967 Abortion Act two physicians must approve an abortion, and if an abortion-breast cancer link were accepted, many more professional liability cases would likely be brought.
Using a linear regression model incorporating cohort rates of fertility and induced abortions, Carroll et al. were able to forecast future incidence of breast cancer accurately.
Hormonal and reproductive risk factors also help to explain the “social gradient,” the authors write. Women in higher socioeconomic groups have a higher incidence of breast cancer. Upper class and upwardly mobile women may be more likely to have nulliparous abortions, later childbirth, and fewer children, authors suggest.
The researchers said breast cancer cases increased in the 1980s as breast cancer screenings became routine; but this does not account for why the breast cancer rate continues to rise.
They concluded by urging that more research be done to explore why breast cancer cases continue to increase and whether induced abortion is a risk factor, as it appears to be.
“The lack of official explanation for the remarkable social gradient of female breast cancer, when such great resources are available for cancer research, is also a failure of public health education and is consistent with the neglect of breast cancer prevention programs,” they wrote. “If fertility and induced abortions are recognised as explanatory variables, it is possible to model and forecast breast cancer numbers in future years to enable planning of adequate treatment facilities with some precision.”
Numerous studies have found a link between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer.
Dr. Peter Saunders, a doctor and the CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship, wrote in 2013:
Of 73 worldwide studies since 1957 (including this latest) on the association of induced abortion and subsequent development of breast cancer: 53 studies show an association, and 15 studies show no association. See specifics here.
And yet many official bodies continue to deny categorically any link between abortion and breast cancer.
The new documentary film “Hush” also is shedding light on the research. The director of the film, Punam Kumar Gill, identifies as pro-choice on abortion; and at the end of the film, she concludes that, while she still believes abortion is a woman’s right, she also thinks that women are not being informed of the potential risks of abortion, and more research should be done on the abortion-breast cancer link.