News Flash > Breast Cancer


Link Between Abortion and Breast Cancer
Reported December 23, 2005

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- In the most recent issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Joel Brind, Ph.D., of Baruch College in New York, discusses the link between abortion and breast cancer.

The argument over whether there is a link dates back to 1996 when Brind and colleagues conducted their first analysis of 21 studies and concluded a link exists between induced abortion and breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute called the results of the report inconclusive and/or inconsistent. Seven years later the National Cancer Institute announced the findings of their own study, which indicated no link between induced abortion and breast cancer. This re-analysis was published in The Lancet in 2004.

Now, Brind has taken up the argument again and performed a meta-analysis of the data from 10 studies reported between 1996 and 2005. Again, he concludes there is a link between the two.

In his report, Brind points to reporting bias and misclassification as two of the points that make these previous studies flawed. For example, he says there exists a cohort effect that is the result of comparing two different populations. According to Brind, one study only compared a younger group that experienced most of the abortions with an older group that developed most of the breast cancers.

Additionally, he says short time spans between the abortions and the incidence of breast cancer make these conclusions incorrect.

"It is only reasonable to conclude, from all extant evidence, that induces abortion is indeed a risk factor for breast cancer, despite the strong and pervasive bias in recent literature in the direction of viewing abortion as safe for women," Brind says.

Brind also says, "It is deplorable that in an era in which women's rights appear so prominently on the political and public health landscape, women should be denied the right to know about the breast cancer risk-increasing effect of such a common matter of choice as induced abortion."

SOURCE: Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, 2005;19:105-109