Thursday, October 14, 2010

Iranian Study Indicates (again) Abortion/Breast Cancer Link

Today's LifeNews reports "Abortion Boosts Breast Cancer Risk 193% Study Finds, Giving Birth Lowers It."

We have posted about the increasing number of reputable national and international studies indicating an abortion/breast cancer link here and here.

The study the LifeNews article references is "Reproductive factors associated with breast cancer risk in northern Iran" by K. O. Hajian-Tilaki and T. Kaveh-Ahangar. The study was accepted in March 2010, and published in April 2010, by Medical Oncology, an international, peer-reviewed journal. From the abstract:

“Nulliparity, (never giving birth) late age at first birth and abortion were the most important reproductive factors associated with breast cancer risk; therefore, it is recommended to women with these risk factors to perform breast cancer screening tests earlier.”

The full abstract can be read here:

The full study can be purchased there, too, but like most academic research it is expensive--$34. ________________________________________________

The Iranian study is one of a number by the authors which seek to identify environmental factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer among women. Their most recent study is “Body mass index and waist circumference are predictor biomarkers of breast cancer risk in Iranian women” accepted in July, 2010 by Medical Oncology. That study concluded:

“...our study found that BMI (body mass index) has a predictive ability to distinguish pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer, indicating that weight control programs may have an effective role in prevention of female breast cancer. While WC (waist circumference) has a predictive ability for premenopausal breast cancer but after adjusting for BMI, no longer an association between WC and breast cancer was found. The findings imply to perform breast cancer screening programs in Iranian women with high BMI and WC.”

The abstract of the Body mass index study can be read here:


Anonymous said...

Nulliparity is also why there are higher breast cancer rates in nuns as well.

Anonymous said...

The claim "abortion boosts breast cancer risk" is not what the study actually reported. The study reported that "higher age at first pregnancy and abortion were ASSOCIATED with increased breast cancer risk." Association is not causation. The study does not claim that "higher age at first pregnancy and abortion" CAUSE any increase in breast cancer. Instead, (1) why the Iranian woman have higher age at first pregnancy and (2) why some Iranian women choose abortion and (3) why these particular Iranian women were chosen for this study may all be the explanation/cause of increased breast cancer in Iranian women in this study -- and not abortion or higher age itself. And of course, an increase in one cancer can also be associated with a decrease in risk for other cancers and conditions. These are all additional considerations which fair analysis must consider rather than simply jumping to the unproven claim that "abortion boosts breast cancer risk".

Anonymous said...

Rather than simply "giving birth lowers" the risk of breast cancer, the Swedish study (Mats Lambe, et al) found that women who gave birth "were at higher risk of breast cancer than nulliparous women for up to 15 years after childbirth and at lower risk thereafter".