Thursday, November 12, 2009

Abortion-Breast Cancer Link Strongly Indicated in New Chinese Study

I've been hesitant to comment on the long debated abortion-breast cancer link because the science is over my head, so I would never know how to weigh the competing claims. But two recent studies have changed my mind. The first was a study in Turkey published earlier this year. It showed that women who had abortions had a 66% increased risk for breast cancer.

Today, another study, this one from China, shows that women in China who have abortions have a 17% higher incidence of breast cancer. From Steve Ertelt at Life News:

"Beijing, China ( -- Chinese researchers have issued a new study indicating women who have had abortions face a 17 percent higher chance of contracting breast cancer than women who carried their pregnancy to term. One leading American scientist says he believes the increased risk is even higher.

Peng Xing and his colleagues conducted a case-control study in northeast China examining reproductive factors associated with subtypes of breast cancer.

They found a statistically significant overall odds ratio of 1.17 (17% increased breast cancer risk for all subtypes combined) among women who had induced abortions.

The study excludes the possibility of a flaw called "report bias" because abortion isn't stigmatized in China. Communist officials frequently require women who violate the one-child family planning policy there to have abortions so Chinese women are considered reliable reporters of their abortion histories.

Xing and his colleagues also found an increased risk of breast cancer for women who delayed their first full-term pregnancy, a frequent phenomenon among women who have an abortion of their first baby.

Professor Joel Brind of Baruch College maintains that the Chinese study underestimates the risk of abortion because of its high prevalence in China.

In his review of 10 prospective studies on the ABC link for the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons in December, 2005, Professor Brind explained that it's hard to do an epidemiological study accurately in communist countries where exposure to abortion affects most of the study population.

"In the study, the prevalence of abortion is quite high at about 56% overall in this population," he said.

"Because abortion is so prevalent in the population, women in the small, unexposed population (the comparison group) are a minority group and do not represent a typical population," he explained. "Rather, they're atypical because they represent a high-risk subgroup."

"Women without abortions in China are more likely to be childless or to have late first full-term pregnancies, which are accepted risk factors for breast cancer," Brind added.

Earlier this year, a Turkish study reported a statistically significant 66% increased risk for women contracting breast cancer after having an abortion."

The Turkish study was published in the World Journal of Surgical Oncology, here. The LifeNews story continues:

"Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, says both studies show that, when honest research is conducted outside the control of the U.S. National Cancer Institute and other Western governmental agencies or organizations tethered to abortion ideology and politics, the truth emerges that abortion raises risk.

"The Chinese and the Turkish studies are relevant considering the debate over government-funded abortion through healthcare reform," she told "Government-funded abortion means more dead American women from breast cancer."

Malec says studies reporting no abortion- breast cancer link have been proven in medical journals to be stupendously flawed.

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."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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