(Health Secret) Women who have undergone an abortion have a huge increase in their risk of breast cancer says a new Chinese meta-analysis study. And that risk appears to continue increasing after each subsequent abortion. During this study, researchers found that the overall risk of developing breast cancer in women in China who have had an abortion was 44% higher than women who have not had an abortion. Additionally, the risk of breast cancer increased by 76% after two abortions and 89% after three.
The study was published in the peer reviewed international journal Cancer Causes and Control and was conducted by Chinese researchers from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital. In the study, the researchers examined 36 articles (two cohort studies and 34 case-control studies) that investigated the associations between abortion and breast cancer.
China’s increased incidence of breast cancer
Chinese women historically have had lower rates of breast cancer compared to women in western countries such as the United States. However, breast cancer incidences in China have increased at an alarming rate over the past two decades – increases which have corresponded with implementation of the Chinese Communist Party’s one-child policy.
The one-child policy is strictly enforced in China, and pregnant women who already have a child are often forced to undergo abortions.
Joel Brind, professor of endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York, and a science adviser to the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, called the new study “a real game changer” after years of attempts by various interests to discredit earlier findings, including his own, which indicated a link between abortions and breast cancer.
The new Chinese research follows closely on the heels of two similar studies published earlier this year. An Indian study published in May reported a six-fold (600%) greater risk of breast cancer among Indian women with a history of induced abortion. A Bangladesh study found that women with a history of induced abortion had a 20-fold (2,000%) increase in the likelihood of developing breast cancer.
Dr. Brind called the recent findings “of the sort of magnitude that has typified the link between cigarettes and lung cancer.”
The connection between abortions, breast cancer, hormones and stem cells
The connection between abortion and breast cancer appears to be linked to hormones and stem cells. According to Dr. Jane Orient, estrogen increases by 2,000% by the end of the first trimester, which increases the vulnerability for some women for estrogen-fueled cancers. However, when pregnancies go to full term, as much as 85% of breast-cancer tissue becomes cancer-resistant due to hormones made in the fetal placenta. Progesterone is the primary hormone produced in the placenta during the later stages of gestation (progesterone = for gestation), and has been found over and over again to be highly protective of human breast tissue.
A 2013 paper published in Cell Stem Cell reported that a full-term pregnancy in a young woman in her early 20s significantly reduced the number of mammary gland progenitors – stem cells that have the ability to divide into milk-producing cells, but which can also mutate to form rapidly dividing cancer cells. Women who carried a child to full term had the lowest populations of mammary gland progenitors, lower even than cancer-free women who had never been pregnant.
Mounting evidence of an abortion – breast cancer link
Though a 2003 National Cancer Institute study concluded that abortions did not cause breast cancer, there have subsequently been 13 statistically significant studies linking abortion to breast cancer. Since 1957, there have been a total of 73 studies demonstrating an increased risk of breast cancer for women who have had an abortion.
For more information: