New study supports abortion/breast cancer link
An article in the fall issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons by actuary Patrick Carroll shows that induced abortion, especially nulliparous abortion, is the reproductive risk factor that most accurately predicts breast cancer incidence. Fertility is also a useful predictor.
“During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is fitting and proper that women be informed about any newly discovered dangers, even as the public groans under the weight of all the warning surrounding the mere act of living,” writes Dennis Byrne (Chicago Tribune 10/22/07).
Byrne notes the contrast between mainstream media reporting a 13% increase in breast cancer risk for women who have just a couple of alcoholic drinks each day with the “snubbing” of the abortion connection.
Noting that national data in most countries tends to underreport abortions, Carroll uses data from eight European countries believed to have nearly complete official abortion counts. Using a model based on data up to 1997, Carroll correctly forecast 100.5% of the cancers observed in 2003, and 97.5% of those observed in 2004.
Carroll projects his forecasts to 2025. If present trends continue, the incidence of breast cancer in England and Wales is predicted to increase by 51% by 2025. An increased incidence is also predicted for Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Sweden, and Czech Republic. A 6.8% decreased incidence is predicted for Finland, based on its declining abortion rate and some recovery in its birth rate, and a 4.1% decreased incidence for Denmark because of a declining abortion rate.
Correlation of course does not prove causality. But Byrne notes that a causal effect is biologically plausible. An abortion interrupts the hormonally induced growth of breast cells before they differentiate, leaving them more susceptible to carcinogens.
“The problem with dismissing the Carroll study because it is epidemiological is that you’ll also have to dismiss a multitude of public health studies, …” Byrne observes.
- “Induced Abortion and Breast Cancer Risk: a Critical Analysis of the Report of the Harvard Nurses Study II,” by Joel Brind, Ph.D., J Am Phys Surg, Summer 2007.
- “Legal Implications of a Link Between Abortion and Breast Cancer,” by Andrew Schlafly, J Am Phys Surg, Spring 2005.
- “The Abortion-Breast Cancer Link: How Politics Trumped Science and Informed Consent,” by Karen Malec, J Am Phys Surg, Summer 2003.