Breast cancer, oral contraceptives, abortion and lies (?)

cancer.jpgFor years, the National Cancer Institute has been telling Americans that having an abortion and using oral contraceptives had nothing to do with an increased risk of breast cancer. 

But now, recognized experts in cancer have published a study in a reputable, peer-reviewed publication that finds that the contraceptives and abortions significantly increase the risk in a specific type of breast cancer called triple-negative..
This should be earth-shattering news, backing as it does the assertions and scientific findings that have concluded that abortion raises the risk of breast cancer, but so far, the nation’s major newspapers, wire services and news programs have ignored it, even though they all have access to the study and the press release describing it.
The one exception, while not a traditional mainstream medium, is (a division of the New York Times Company) Its story is headlined, “Abortion, Birth Control Pills, Raises Breast Cancer Risk.”
Here is the press release from the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer

Press Release

Contact: Karen Malec, 847-421-4000

Date: January 6, 2009

2nd Breast Cancer Scandal: National Cancer Institute Researcher Louise Brinton Reverses Position, Finally Admits Abortion Raises Breast Cancer Risk in Study that Fingers Oral Contraceptives as a Probable Cause of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer 

Study is 9 months old, but still no warnings from cancer establishment

Less than two months since the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force issued new guidelines recommending against routine mammograms for women in their forties, a second breast cancer scandal involving a U.S. government panel of experts has come to light which has implications for healthcare reform.

An April 2009 study by Jessica Dolle of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center examining the relationship between oral contraceptives (OCs) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in women under age 45 contained an admission from U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) researcher Louise Brinton and her colleagues (including Janet Daling) that abortion raises breast cancer risk by 40%. [1]

Additionally, Dolle’s team showed that women who start OCs before age 18 multiply their risk of TNBC by 3.7 times and recent users of OCs within the last one to five years multiply their risk by 4.2 times. TNBC is an aggressive form of breast cancer associated with high mortality.

“Although the study was published nine months ago,” observed Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, “the NCI, the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and other cancer fundraising businesses have made no efforts to reduce breast cancer rates by issuing nationwide warnings to women.”

Brinton was the chief organizer of the 2003 NCI workshop on the abortion-breast cancer link, which falsely assured women that the non-existence of the link was “well established.” [2]

Dolle’s team reported in Table 1 a statistically significant 40% risk increase for women who have had abortions. They listed abortion among “known and suspected risk factors.” 

Brinton and Daling had previously studied this population from the Seattle-Puget Sound area in the 1990s and reported risk increases between 20% and 50% among women with abortions. [3,4] In the 2009 study, they and their co-authors wrote that their findings concerning induced abortion, OC use and certain other risk factors, “were consistent with the effects observed in previous studies on younger women.”

“Obviously, more women will die of breast cancer if the NCI fails in its duty to warn about the risks of OCs and abortion and if government funds are used to pay for both as a part of any healthcare bill,” said Mrs. Malec.

A brief analysis of the study, Dolle et al. 2009, was provided by Dr. Joel Brind, professor of biology and endocrinology and deputy chair for biology at Baruch College, City University of New York.

Last year, studies from Turkey and China also reported statistically significant risk increases for women who had abortions. [5,6]

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.



1. Dolle J, Daling J, White E, Brinton L, Doody D, et al. Risk factors for triple-negative breast cancer in women under the age of 45 years. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18(4)1157-1166.

2. “Summary Report: Early Reproductive Events and Breast Cancer,” U.S. National Cancer Institute, March 4, 2003. Available at:

3. Daling JR, Malone DE, Voigt LF, White E, Weiss NS. Risk of breast cancer among young women: relationship to induced abortion. Natl Cancer Inst1994;86:1584-1592. White E, Malone KE, Weiss NS, Daling JR. Breast cancer among young US women in relation to oral contraceptive use. J Natl Cancer Inst 1994;86:505-514.

4. Daling JR, Brinton LA, Voigt LF, et al.  Risk of breast cancer among white women following induced abortion. Am J Epidemiol 1996;144:373-380.

5. Ozmen V, Ozcinar B, Karanlik H, Cabioglu N, Tukenmez M, et al.  Breast cancer risk factors in Turkish women – aUniversity Hospital based nested case control study. World J of Surg Oncol 2009;7:37.

6. Xing P, Li J, Jin F. A case-control study of reproductive factors associated with subtypes of breast cancer in Northeast China. Humana Press, e-publication online September 2009.


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  • I have no comment about the merits of the cancer argument, but I do have about journalism.

    I've made it abundantly clear, including to your fellow Tribune "columnist/blogger" Eric Zorn, that most of the people in the media have no comprehension of the legal issues about which they write, and even their "legal consultants" seem amazed by such things as that George Ryan couldn't get his conviction overturned, the Illinois Supreme Court couldn't make Jesse White sign Burris's appointment paper, or that Drew Peterson is actually behind bars, and can't call radio programs.

    The Tribune's transportation writers are no better, and rely on Chicago Now blogs for leads.

    Now, I don't know about people who write for medical journals, but I am suspicious when every television news program has a health report 1/3 into it, and the usual substance of the report is that something we said yesterday caused cancer doesn't, or vice versa. This is no different, except it doesn't involve something people should or shouldn't eat.

  • "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."

    Kinda tells you right up front what their bias is, doesn't it? And we can rely on press releases from them as completely accurate and unbiased. Sure....

  • Okay, did some searching on the Fred Hutchison website. I can't find any study that says anything about abortion. There is a study (by Kathi Malone) that talks about oral contraceptives. Perhaps this Coalition added the abortion part?

    And here's what I found about Ms. Dolle: "Jessica Dolle, an epidemiology student at the University of Washington..."

    A student? You're taking the word of a student on this matter? 'Nuff said.

    Seriously, Dennis, why don't you earn your journalism credentials and do at least five minutes' research before you simply re-publish a press release? The Trib. should be embarrassed.

  • In reply to Dienne:

    Dienne, here is one analysis of the study. Please read all the way through.

    New Study Pinpoints Oral Contraceptive-Breast Cancer Link (OCBC link);
    Resurrects Abortion-Breast Cancer Link (ABC link)

    by Joel Brind, Ph.D.
    January 3, 2009

    In the April, 2009 issue of the prestigious cancer epidemiology journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, appeared a paper by the prestigious Janet Daling group of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, with first author Jessica Dolle. [1] The paper represents a bombshell in OCBC (oral contraceptives-breast cancer) research in terms of new data; and a bombshell in ABC (abortion-breast cancer) research in terms of admissions about existing data.

    The Dolle study is based on a population of 897 cancer patients diagnosed under age 45 and 1,569 controls with a similar age distribution, all from the greater Seattle, WA area. The subjects were all subjects of earlier studies published by the Daling group during the 1990

  • In reply to Dienne:

    Dienne: When you are looking for an abstract for a study in a medical journal, the place you are likely to find it is on PubMed. The citation for the study was published on the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer's 1/6/10 press release (which includes far more information than what the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society will ever give you). The citation is:

    Dolle J, Daling J, White E, Brinton L, Doody D, et al. Risk factors for triple-negative breast cancer in women under the age of 45 years. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18(4)1157-1166.

    If you want to e-mail me at, I'd be happy to send it to you. You may call me at 847-421-4000 if you do not get the study right away. (Sometimes our server directs important e-mails to our bulk mailbox.)

    The fact that the lead author is a student is not so unusual, especially since her co-authors are seasoned epidemiologists, some with decades of experience; and one author is U.S. National Cancer Institute breast cancer researcher Louise Brinton.

    I think if you read the study, Dolle et al. 2009, you will agree that the U.S. National Cancer Institute is neglecting its duty to inform the public about the results.

  • In reply to Dienne:

    Dennis Byrne needs SOMETHING to rail about. Today it's the "evil liberal media" that wants to keep women "uninformed" (even though women make up a large number of the media) about the "link" between abortion and breast cancer.

    But there is a good article here...

    ...which explains how studies on this "link" are done and the pitfalls involved. I have quoted the "cut to the chase" parts

    "The largest, and probably the most reliable study on this topic was done during the 1990s in Denmark, a country with very detailed medical records on all its citizens."
    "After adjusting for known breast cancer risk factors, the researchers found that induced abortion(s) had no overall effect on the risk of breast cancer. "

    Finally, the Coalition on Abortion Breast Cancer is run by anti-choice zealots who ignore studies disputing the "link" between abortion and breast cancer done by the American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and World Health Organization. It is a website devoted to scaring women who are probably already scared at the prospects of having an abortion.

  • In reply to SouthSideGT:

    SouthSideGT: You cited a statement on the American Cancer Society's website that refers to the Danish study, Melbye et al. 1997. Don't you think it's strange that the Society would cite that study in order to dismiss the abortion-breast cancer link when Melbye and his colleagues reported in the Results section of the paper that they found a statistically significant 89% increase in risk for women who have abortions after 18 weeks gestation? Moreover, they reported that the risk of breast cancer increased by 3% for every week of gestation before the abortion took place. They said it was consistent with the findings of Russo and Russo (the group that did the ground-breaking research that provided the biological reasons for an abortion-breast cancer link). The longer the woman is pregnant before the abortion takes place, the longer she is exposed to pregnancy hormones (mainly estrogen) which stimulate cell division, the more places she grows in her breasts for cancers to start, and the greater her breast cancer risk is. Most people don't read the Results section of a paper. They just read the bottom line. That's what the Melbye team was counting on. It was big news in 1997 - on the front pages of newspapers, above the fold with headlines reporting no link between abortion and breast cancer. The study has fulfilled its purpose - to falsely reassure women of the safety of abortion. But the immutable fact is that Melbye et al. 1997 actually fulfills one of the criteria for establishing causation because it establishes a dose effect. In 2002 a young woman in Philadelphia County used Melbye et al. to successfully sue her abortionist because she had a 2nd trimester abortion, and he never warned her about the risks of breast cancer and emotional harm.

    It would be a good idea to read the study, Dolle et al. 2009, which the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer reported in its 1-6-10 study before rushing to judgment. In that way, you can learn first hand what researchers are really saying.

  • In reply to KarenMalec:

    Abortions are safe. This is settled science. Abortions are legal. This is settled law. As a society we all should work to limit the number of abortions instead of wasting time and resources trying to frighten women with junk science.

  • In reply to KarenMalec:

    Hello Mr. 'SouthSideGT',

    You wrote, "Abortions are safe. This is settled
    science...." Have you ever in your life read an
    abortion consent form??? I have read seven (7) which
    beats the 'H' out of your zero read forms. For
    example, a 2001 consent form from a San Antonio,
    Texas abortion clinic lists about one dozen health
    risk from first trimester abortions, including:
    "Possible increased lifetime risk of breast cancer".
    Mr. "SouthSideGT", if you visit the website you will see
    that you can win a $2009 prize by simply providing
    a CORRECT citation to a published animal study of "suction"
    abortion. Very good luck to you, since there are
    zero published animal studies of "suction" abortion;
    URL: .
    But you, Mr. "SouthSideGT", are quite happy to have
    human women act as the GUINEA PIGS for "suction"
    abortion. "Suction" abortion was invented in Communist
    China circa 1956 and was announced to the world
    in 1958 in the Chinese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
    Who were the test subjects in this study??? Not mice,
    not rats, not rabbits, not dogs, not cats, but 300
    Chinese WOMEN. Stop abortion-quackery to protect women's

  • In reply to BrentRooney:

    In fact, I don't need to read an abortion consent form from ANY state to know that abortions are safe. It is settled science that an abortion in the first trimester poses a serious risk in about 1 in 200 cases. Also, AFAIK there are more options than "suction". And if women sign a consent form they are hardly "guinea pigs". Alas, there is nothing to be done about Chinese women from 1956 and I don't have access to a time machine...
    And let me point out that to characterize me as "happy" about abortions is just a guess on your part and incorrect. I agree with President Obama's pragmatic stance that we should work to limit the number of abortions. You should calm down and do that as well.

  • In reply to BrentRooney:

    This will be ignored because it attacks the feminist holy sacraments of contraception and abortion which enslave, ahem, free women from the evil male.

    In other news, cigarette links to cancer took 6 decades to be widely reported by the media. How long has "the pill" been around?

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