Abortion 'triples breast cancer risk': Fourth study finds terminations linked to disease
By Simon Caldwell at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1288955/Abortion-triple-risk-breast-cancer.html UPDATED:19:55 EST, 23 June 2010
The study showed having an abortion could triple the risk of breast cancer, however it was a small sample of 300 women.
An abortion can triple a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in later life, researchers say.
A team of scientists made the claim while carrying out research into how breastfeeding can protect women from developing the killer disease.
While concluding that breastfeeding offered significant protection from cancer, they also noted that the highest reported risk factor in developing the disease was abortion.
Other factors included the onset of the menopause and smoking.
The findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, are the latest research to show a link between abortion and breast cancer.
The research was carried out by scientists at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka.
It is the fourth epidemiological study to report such a link in the past 14 months, with research in China, Turkey and the U.S. showing similar conclusions.
But Cancer Research UK questioned the accuracy of the figures and said women should not be unduly worried.
Dr Kat Arney, the charity’s science information manager, said: ‘This is a very small study of only 300 women, so there are likely to be statistical errors in a sample of this size.
‘Much larger studies involving tens of thousands of women have shown no significant links.’
But the findings prompted accusations that women in Britain are not being properly informed of the dangers of abortion.
Professor Jack Scarisbrick, the chairman of Life, a pregnancy counselling charity, said: ‘This is devastating new evidence of the abortion-breast cancer link.
‘We have encountered from the pro-abortion lobby manipulation of the evidence on a truly disgraceful scale. This study is further evidence that has been gathering from all around the world that abortion is a major risk factor for breast cancer.
‘When will the (medical) establishment face up to this fact and pull its head out of the sand?
‘It is betraying women by failing to warn that what they are doing to their bodies – the quick fix of abortion – can do grave harm.’
Although the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has acknowledged the possibility of an abortion-breast cancer link, most medical professionals in Britain remain unconvinced.
This is because an international study led by Oxford University concluded in 2004 that having an abortion does not heighten a woman’s risk.
Some scientists say, however, that the Oxford research was flawed because many of the women studied were too young to have developed the disease.
Those who believe there is a link say breast cancer is caused by high levels of oestradiol, a hormone that stimulates breast growth during pregnancy.
Its effects are minimised in women who take pregnancy to full term but it remains at dangerous levels in those who have abortions.
There has been an 80 per cent increase in the rate of breast cancer since 1971, when in the wake of the Abortion Act, the number of abortions rose from 18,000 to nearly 200,000 a year.
Earlier this year, Dr Louise Brinton, a senior researcher with the U.S. National Cancer Institute who did not accept the link, reversed her position to say she was now convinced abortion increased the risk of breast cancer by about 40 per cent.