What better place is there to measure whether breast cancer and abortions are related than in China with its one-child-only policy?
Some did just that and found evidence that induced abortions indeed are related to an increased risk of breast cancer—a risk that increases when a woman has more abortions. This finding was published in the February 2012 of the Asian Pacific Journal of Breast Cancer Prevention and can be viewed here.
In the discussion of their findings, the authors, led by Ai-Ren Jiang, said:
An animal study supported that induced abortion might increase the risk of breast cancer (Russo et al, 1980 The full-term pregnancy first causes mammary cell proliferation and then differentiation, thus presumably reducing susceptibility to carcinogenesis. It is speculated that an early interruption of a pregnancy may lead to enhanced proliferation of breast tissue without subsequent differentiation, and hence to increased susceptibility to carcinogenic change. In this study we found that induced abortion was associated with n increased risk for breast cancer and with a dose-response relationship. The result of our study supported the hypothesis that prior induced abortion represent significant risk factors for later development of breast cancer.
This is but one of several studies that indicate a link between abortion and breast cancer, an extremely contentious issue. There are studies on both sides of the issue and more research clearly is needed. But every time an ABC (abortion breast cancer) link is discovered or documented by reputable scientists, they and their research are brutally attacked by the abortion industry.
I have been on the receiving end of such attacks for writing about the ABC studies (How dare I!) and been labeled anti-science, precisely by ideologues who don’t have the vaguest idea of what the scientific method is. They will cite this or that professional organization that has passed a resolution denying any possibility of an ABC link, as if science can be done with a vote.
I am regularly accused of writing about the possible link because I am pro-life and, ergo, I am biased toward any study that even suggests a link. I won’t argue the point, but I would also add that I write about it because so many in the media choose to ignore the debate, so who is left to write about it.
At the forefront of those that courageously try to bring the debate to the public’s attention is the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer. Thanks to this organization, the public now can be aware of the Chinese study and make up their own minds. Here is the group’s comment on the study:
Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer
Contact: Karen Malec, 847-421-4000
Date: May 15, 2012
Chinese Study: “Women With a Previous Induced Abortion Had a Significant Increased Risk of Breast Cancer”
The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer notes that a Chinese study consisting of 1,351 subjects published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention in February, 2012 reported a very statistically significant increased risk of breast cancer for women with previous induced abortions (IAs) in comparison with women without previous IAs. Researchers led by Ai-Ren Jiang reported a statistically significant 1.52-fold elevation in risk for women with IAs and a “significant dose-response relationship between (the risk) for breast cancer and number of (IAs),” meaning that risk climbed with number of IAs.
For premenopausal women with IAs, the numbers were relatively small, and the observed 16% risk elevation was not statistically significant. However, for those with three or more IAs, the risk climbed to a statistically significant 1.55-fold elevation.
By contrast, postmenopausal women with IAs experienced a statistically significant 1.82-fold elevation in risk, compared to those with no IAs. Risk climbed with number of IAs from a statistically significant 1.79-fold increased risk for one IA and a statistically significant 1.85-fold elevation for two IAs, to a non-statistically significant 2.14-fold elevated risk for three or more IAs.
Professor Joel Brind (Baruch College, City University of New York) advised the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer that earlier Chinese studies [3,4] underestimated the breast cancer risk of IAs. A one-child-per-couple policy is in force, and most women have abortions after first full term pregnancy. (First full term pregnancy reduces risk by maturing 85% of the mother’s cancer-susceptible breast lobules into permanently cancer-resistant lobules.) He said it:
“tends to suppress the relative risk values, which makes the Jiang numbers all the more credible - underestimates if anything. Also, a place like China is good to measure the dose effect of abortion, and the statistics are strong enough to show a highly significant trend, which strengthens a causal inference.”
A Chinese study in 1995 by L. Bu and colleagues, including Janet Daling of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, reported a statistically significant 4.5-fold elevated risk among women with IAs who developed breast cancer at or before age 35, compared to older women (who experienced a statistically significant 2.5-fold elevated risk). 
Four of seven Chinese studies report statistically significant risk increases for women with IAs.Fifty-three of sixty-nineepidemiological studies dating from 1957 report risk elevations for women with previous IAs. Biological and experimental research supports an abortion-breast cancer link. 
The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer is an international women’s organization founded to protect the health and save the lives of women by educating and providing information on abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer.
- Jiang AR, Gao CM, Ding JH, Li SP, Liu YT, Cao HX, Wu JZ, Tang JH, Qian Y, Tajima K. Abortions and breast cancer risk in premenopausal and postmenopausal women in Jiangsu Province of China. Asian Pacific J Cancer Prev 2012;13:33-35. Available at: <http://www.apjcpcontrol.org/page/popup_paper_file_view.php?pno=MzMtMzUgMTIuMiZrY29kZT0yNzAxJmZubz0w&pgubun=i>.
- Bu L, Voigt L, Yu Z, Malone K, Daling J. Risk of breast cancer associated with induced abortion in a population at low risk of breast cancer. Am J Epidemiol 1995;141:S85. (abstract).
- Ye Z, Gao DL, Qin Q, Ray RM, Thomas DB. Breast cancer in relation to induced abortions in a cohort of Chinese women. Br J Cancer 2002;87:977-981.
- Sanderson M, Shu X-O, Jin F, Dai Q, Wen W, Hua Y, Gao Y-T, Zheng W. Abortion history and breast cancer risk: results from the Shanghai breast cancer study. Int J Cancer 2001;92:899-905.
For a list of 68 of those epidemiological studies, see: <http://bcpinstitute.org/epidemiology_studies_bcpi.htm>. One study excluded from this list was: Carroll, P. The breast cancer epidemic: modeling and forecasts based on abortion and other risk factors." J Am Phys Surg Vol. 12, No. 3 (Fall 2007) 72-78. Available at: <http://www.jpands.org/vol12no3/carroll.pdf
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