The concept of abortion is a controversial subject. It is a critical aspect of every political campaign in most of the world. It fuels religious passions. Now it is said to be causing a major uptick in breast cancer. And an article on LifeNews.com created a stir tonight when it posted what it claims to be a huge study from India. The study, which began in 2008, shows an enormous increase in breast cancer risks by those who have had an abortion.
The most recent study is yet another one from India, making the total number of South Asian studies (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) 15, all since 2008. Every one of themreports increased breast cancer risk with abortion, with risk increases as high as almost 2,000 percent (20-fold)!
The authors of this 2016 study by Nagrani et al. actually acknowledge that they have observed increased breast cancer risk with induced abortions. They go so far as to admit that “most previous case-control studies have observed a positive association between induced abortion and breast cancer.”ADVERTISEMENT
The study is being called “recall bias,” which would scientifically nullify the results. However, Cancer.org denies any link.
Linking these topics creates a great deal of emotion and debate. But scientific research studies have not found a cause-and-effect relationship between abortion and breast cancer.
They discuss hormonal shifts and birth control relationships to breast cancer.
A woman’s risk for some types of breast cancer is related to levels of certain hormones in the body. Breast cells normally grow and divide in response to hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin. Levels of these hormones change throughout a woman’s life.
Breast cancer risk can be affected by a number of things that alter these hormone levels. For example, women who have more menstrual periods over their lifetime (because their periods start earlier, they go through menopause later, or they never get pregnant) have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer. The use of some types of hormones (for birth control or to control the symptoms of menopause) can also increase breast cancer risk slightly (although this risk goes down over time after hormone use is stopped). On the other hand, breastfeeding might lower breast cancer risk slightly.
LifeNews claims that these studies are often covered up by mainstream media. They cite their sources as follows, but I was unable to locate any hard links.
Study Citation: Nagrani R, Mhatre S, Boffetta P, Rajaraman P, Badwe R, Gupta S, Romieu I, Parmar V, Dikshit R. Understanding rural-urban differences in risk factors for breast cancer in an Indian population. Cancer Causes Control. 2016 Feb;27(2):199-208. doi: 10.1007/s10552-015-0697-y. Epub 2015 Nov 20. PubMed PMID: 26589416.
However, the hormonal changes being related to breast cancer has been well-known for some time. That isn’t precisely the nail in the coffin for LifeNews. But we are always sensitive to those claiming that a cover-up in the media exists so in that way, we will keep looking. As it stands, the article is at most, creating a huge stir online. You can read more of the story below.
In late 2013, Dr. Yubei Huang and colleagues published a systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 studies in mainland China. They reported an overall 44% increase in breast cancer risk among women with one or more abortions; up to an 89% risk increase among women with three or more abortions. (See my earlier reports on this in NRL News.) And there are also other recent studies (from the past 10 years) from elsewhere in Asia (Iran, Kazakhstan), the Mideast (Egypt, Palestine, Iraq) and elsewhere (Turkey, Armenia, Mexico) confirming the ABC link.
So just who are these wizards of smart who believe that you, dear readers of their study, are so stupid and/or so ill informed as to believe the response bias canard ? For me, who has been studying the ABC link and its cover-up for over 23 years, I go straight to the by-line.
There I see that one of the co-authors, Preetha Rajamaran, works for the NCI, the US government agency that has been lying about the ABC link for over 20 years.