Women have the right to know that two breast cancer risks are associated with abortion - a recognized risk and a debated risk.
THE RECOGNIZED BREAST CANCER RISK
All experts agree that the longer a woman waits to have her first full term pregnancy, the greater her breast cancer risk is. Delaying the birth of a first child significantly increases risk because the childless woman has immature, cancer-vulnerable breast tissue - Type 1 and 2 lobules where 95% of all breast cancers are known to develop. Her breast tissue does not mature into cancer-resistant tissue until the last months of a full term pregnancy. By the end of a 40-week pregnancy, 85% of her breast lobules are mature, cancer-resistant lobules known as Type 4 lobules.
A delayed first full term pregnancy increases her risk because it extends the length of time during which her breasts remain susceptible to carcinogens. Scientists define an early first full term pregnancy as one that takes place before age 24.
Although delaying the birth of a first child is a known cancer risk, few experts have the intellectual honesty or the political courage to admit that abortion contributes to the breast cancer epidemic by causing a countless number of women to delay their first full term pregnancies every year.
THE DEBATED BREAST CANCER RISK
Experts debate whether an abortion further increases risk by leaving the woman with more cancer-vulnerable breast tissue than she had before she became pregnant. This effect is known as the "independent link."
The breasts grow considerably during pregnancy while under the influence of high levels of the hormone estrogen, a known carcinogen. Estrogen causes the woman's normal and cancer-vulnerable breast lobules to multiply. If she has an abortion, she's left with more places for cancers to start in her breasts. If she has a baby, then other pregnancy hormones mature her breast lobules into cancer-resistant lobules during the last months of pregnancy. She's left with more cancer-resistant tisue than she had before she became pregnant.
Seventy-two epidemiological studies have been conducted since 1957; and 80% of these studies have shown that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer independently of the effect of delaying the birth of a first child. These epidemiological studies establish a correlation between abortion and increased breast cancer risk. Most of the recent epidemiological studies focus exclusively on the effect of the independent link, not the known risk of delaying the birth of a first child.
An independent link is also supported by:
1) Animal research [Russo & Russo Am J Pathology 1980];
2) The World Health Organization's acknowledgement that oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy containing estrogen and progestin are "Group 1 carcinogens." (Press Release #167, July 29, 2005);
3) The established risk showing that a premature birth before 32 weeks gestation more than doubles breast cancer risk. The hormonal changes to the breasts are the same whether the woman has an abortion or a premature birth before 32 weeks gestation. [Melbye et al. Br J Cancer 1999; Hsieh et al. Lancet 1999; Vatten et al. Br J Cancer 2002; Innes and Byers Int J Cancer 2004]
4) Plausible biological reasons why an abortion leaves a woman more susceptible to breast cancer.
Abortion is an "elective surgical procedure and a
womans exposure to the hormones of early pregnancy -- if it is interrupted
-- is so great, that just one interrupted pregnancy is enough to make a
significant difference in her risk" [Professor Joel Brind, President, Breast
Cancer Prevention Institute, Endeavour Forum Public Meeting, August 24, 1999,
Malvern, Victoria, Australia].
Because American Women already face a high lifetime risk of
developing breast cancer of about 12.5 percent, boosting that risk by
even a small percentage through the procurement of a single induced
abortion is comparable to the risk of lung cancer from long-term heavy
smoking. Approximately 1 in 100 women procuring an abortion is
expected to die as a result of abortion-induced breast cancer.
A Medical Text and Henderson Lecture
Acknowledge ABC Link
An Authoritative Medical Text for
doctors who specialize in breast diseases discusses the causes of breast
cancer. It states that the exposure of the breasts to estrogen for
long periods of time proportionately increases breast cancer risk, and
it specifically identifies abortion as a risk factor. It says,
"Long-term exposure to endogenous estrogens (early menarche; late
menopause; late age at first full-term pregnancy; and
being overweight, leading to increased aromatization of circulating
androgens to estrogens) appears to increase cancer risk. Risk is
decreased only with early menopause (natural or artificial) and
childbearing. However, first-trimester abortion increases
added [Robert B. Dickson, Ph.D., Marc E. Lippman, MD, "Growth
Regulation of Normal and Maglignant Breast Epithelium," The Breast:
Comprehensice Management of Benign and Malignant Diseases, edited by
Kirby I. Bland MD and Edward M. Copeland III, MD; (1998) W.B. Saunders
Company; 2nd edition; Vol 1, p.519.]
here to see the Credentials for the
authors and editors of the medical text.)
Medical Text cited the Henderson lecture to support the statement
that "first-trimester abortion increases risk."
Henderson said, "Recently, we found that a
first-trimester abortion, whether spontaneous or induced, before the
first full-term pregnancy is actually associated with an increase in the
risk of breast cancer."
[Henderson, B.E., Ross R., Berstein, L.; "Estrogens as a
cause of human cancer," The Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation
Award Lecture, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los
Angeles, California: Cancer Res 48:246-253, 1988]
Henderson Lecture was published in 1988. The statement
asserting that abortion is linked with increased breast cancer risk was
based on only two studies, the first of which Henderson co-authored and
was the first published American study. [Pike
MC, Henderson BE, Casagrande JT, et al. "Oral contraceptive
use and early abortion as risk factors for breast cancer in young women,
" Br. J. Cancer (1981) 43:72-76; and Hadjimichael OC, Boyle CA, and
Meigs JW, "Abortion before first live birth and risk of breast
cancer," Br. J. Cancer (1986) 53:281-284.]
discussion of the Pike Study was provided by Dr. Joel Brind during
his 1999 lecture in Malvern, Victoria in Australia.
Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control
from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease
Control, Bruce Stadel and Phyllis Wingo, and two other prominent
epidemiologists were convinced of a link in 1986. They co-authored
a letter to the British journal, Lancet, and said, "Induced
abortion before first term pregnancy increases the risk of breast
cancer." [Feb, 22,
1986, p. 436] They acknowledged
the independent effect of an induced abortion on breast cancer risk at a
time when there were only two American studies linking abortion with the
disease. [Pike et al. (1981) Br
J Cancer 43:72-6; and Brinton et al. (1983) Br J Cancer 47:757-62]
aren't women being told?
Janet Daling, an abortion supporter, and her colleagues at the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center were commissioned by the National
Cancer Institute to conduct a study to determine if induced abortion
raises breast cancer risk. The study found that, "among
women who had been pregnant at least once, the risk of breast cancer in
those who had experienced an induced abortion was 50% higher than among
Daling identified 3 high
risk groups and reported these findings:
Women under the age of 18 or over the age of 29 who obtained
induced abortions have more than a twofold increase in risk.
Women with a family history of breast cancer who procured an
abortion were found to have statistically significant risk increases of
Teenagers with a family history of the disease who procured abortions
before the age of 18 were found to have incalculably high risk.
All 12 women in Daling's study with this background were diagnosed
with breast cancer by the age of 45. [Daling
et al. (1994) J Natl Cancer Inst 86:505-14.]
additional high risk group was identified by Dr. Amelia Laing of
American women had a 50% increased risk before the age of 40,
a 180% increased risk between the ages 41 and 49 and a 370% increased
risk after age 50 if they'd ever procured at least one abortion. [Laing
et al. (1993) J Natl Med Assoc 85:931-9]
subsequent study by this author comparing sisters, one of which had
procured an abortion, reported a 144% increased risk. [Laing
et al. (1994) Genet Epidemiology 11: A300]
Orient, MD, a spokeswoman for the American Association of Physicians and
Surgeons, told World Net Daily that, “If you
look at the number of studies that show a connection, they vastly
outnumber the ones that don’t, and the ones that don’t have been
criticized for serious methodological flaws.” She reported that
the elevated risk is “substantial, particularly
in women who abort their first pregnancy at a young age and who have a
family history of breast cancer. It’s something like 800 percent.”
She added, “I think (doctors) should inform
patients about this,” and the information “should include the
potential connection with breast cancer as well as the long-term
psychological risk.” [John
Dougherty, “Can doctors be sued over abortion? Those who don’t
inform patients of breast cancer link could be targets,”
World Net Daily, <www.worldnetdaily.com>,
March 27, 2002]
American Cancer Society has stated in its fact sheet that
abortion "may be associated with increased breast cancer
risk." [American Cancer
Society, Cancer Facts & Figures -- 1996, at 12 (1996)] (An
employee of the American Cancer Society with the Office of Corporation
Counsel has asked us to remove the Society's 1996 statement from our web
site. We have contacted the Society and asked them to inform us of
the legal basis for their request, if any.)
Way Abortion Causes Breast Cancer
is another way in which abortion increases the risk of breast cancer.
Medical experts universally agree that it is healthier for a married woman
not to postpone her first full-term pregnancy. [MacMahon
et al. (1970) Bull Wld Health Org 43:209-21]
One Harvard study reported that each year that a woman postpones her first
full-term pregnancy increases her breast cancer risk by 3.5%. [Trichopolous
D, Hsieh Cc, MacMahon B, Lin T, et al. Age at Any Birth and Breast Cancer
Risk. International J Cancer (1983) 31:701-704]
abortion causes a woman to forego the benefit of increased
protection from breast cancer which she would have obtained from an
earlier first full-term pregnancy. World Health Organization
scientists in 1970 confirmed this saying that, "It
is estimated that women having their first child when aged under 18
years have only about one-third the breast cancer risk of those whose
first birth is delayed until the age of 35 years or more."
In addition, this protective effect was not observed among women who'd
had an incomplete first pregnancy. [MacMahon
B, et al. Bull Wld Health Org. 1970; 43:209-21]
Our group advocates abstinence before marriage, but once a woman is
married, we do not recommend postponement of a first full-term
pregnancy. We believe women have a right to be fully informed
about the adverse effects of delayed childbearing and induced abortion.)
British journal, Lancet, published a large meta-analysis on the
benefits of breastfeeding and childbearing in which data were collected
from 47 epidemiological studies in 30 countries. It was found that the
relative risk of breast cancer declined 4.3% for each 12 months of
breastfeeding and 7.0% for every birth. It was concluded that the
incidence of breast cancer in developed nations could be reduced by more
than half if only women would bear more children and breastfeed for
longer periods of time and that “the lack of or short
lifetime duration of breastfeeding typical of women in developed
countries makes a major contribution to the high incidence of breast
cancer in these countries.” [Valerie Beral, (July 20, 2002) The
woman can’t breastfeed a child who’s been aborted.
Colditz, MD, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a
Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard Medical School of Public
Health, reported that one-half of the differences in the rates of
breast cancer between the developed and undeveloped countries are
attributable to childbearing patterns, including age at first birth,
number of births and breast feeding. He said, "Comparing the reproductive patterns
with six or more pregnancies with the typical pattern of two pregnancies
in the developed world, we have shown that at least 50% of the
international variation in breast cancer rates can be explained by these
patterns of childbearing." [Graham
Colditz, MD, "Relationship Between Estrogen Levels, Use of Hormone
Replacement Therapy and Breast Cancer," JNCl (1998)
is known that women, who start their families earlier in their
reproductive years, have larger families and breast feed for long
periods of time, have a reduced risk of breast cancer. It is not
politically correct, however, to speak this truth to women.
American breast cancer rates can be reduced by 50% through a
cultural change in childbearing patterns, then it is incumbent on
scientists to inform women of these facts and let us make the health
decisions for ourselves. The alternative is to continue the status
quo at the expense of women's health.
aren't women being told?
the high incidence of breast cancer among American women, why are
married women being encouraged to postpone their first full-term
pregnancies and to reduce the size of their families? Why are
abortifacients and abortions being foisted on women?
cancer is the greatest cancer killer among American women between the
ages of 20 and 59. The incidence of cancer climbed 40% in the last
quarter of the 20th Century (since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the
United States in 1973), while the incidence for all other cancers has
either remained the same or declined. ["Breast
Cancer Numbers Up, But US Cancer Deaths Drop," Reuters, June 5,
extraordinary that certain women's organizations, i.e. the National
Organization for Women, champion what is euphemistically known as
"reproductive rights," despite the fact that the medical
community has long known that delayed first full-term pregnancy raises
breast cancer risk.
corporations and wealthy individuals, including Bill Gates, the
Rockefellers, Ted Turner and Warren Buffet, may be contributing to the
rampant breast cancer rates in the United States and elsewhere in
the world by donating to population control groups, including Planned
Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider and a distributor
abortifacients. American taxpayers
unknowingly contribute to the high incidence of this disease because
their taxes subsidize Planned Parenthood and the United Nations Family
Planning Agency (UNFPA).
is especially appalling that even the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer
Foundation which sponsors the Race for the Cure in many locations around
the country gives a portion of its funds to Planned Parenthood.
(See our July
18, 2001 press release regarding the Komen Foundation) Surely
Komen's medical experts would agree that the delay of a first full-term
pregnancy results in increased risk of breast cancer. No
self-respecting medical expert would dare to disagree.
of the difficulties with anti-cancer organizations is that radical
feminists took up the breast cancer cause in the 1980's. They saw
this as a means of championing women's rights, so it must have come as a
surprise to them when they learned that their dominant concern --
abortion -- caused breast cancer. Once it became apparent that
they had a conflict between abortion ideology and protecting women's
health, abortion won hands down!