CHINA, May 16, 2012 ( – A new Chinese study finds a “very statistically significant” link between abortion and breast cancer, the international Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer announced Tuesday.

Led by Ai-Ren Jiang and published in the February 2012 Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, the research finds a “significant dose-response relationship” between breast cancer and the number of induced abortions a patient has undergone, meaning the risk increases with every abortion.

Researchers found that the difference for most premenopausal women with a previous induced abortion was a statistically insignificant 16% increased risk of contracting breast cancer. But those who had three or more abortions fared much worse with a 1.55-fold risk elevation.

However, postmenopausal women with a previous induced abortion showed significantly greater risk of breast cancer: one abortion increased a patient’s risk by a statistically significant 1.79, two increased it by a statistically significant 1.85, and three or more were linked to a non-statistically significant 2.14-fold elevated risk.

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The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer notes that multiple past Chinese studies have shown similar results, including a 1995 study conducted by L. Bu and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, which linked abortion to a statistically significant 4.5-fold increased risk to contract breast cancer at or before age 35.

As troubling as the numbers are, Professor Joel Brind of Baruch College believes that Chinese studies may actually understate the link, since China’s one-child policy means most abortions take place after women have given birth once, and a woman’s first full-term pregnancy reduces the risk of breast cancer by maturing 85% of her cancer-susceptible breast lobules into cancer-resistant lobules. Brind believes the risk would likely be higher among women who abort without previously carrying a pregnancy to term.

“A place like China is good to measure the dose effect of abortion, and the statistics are strong enough to show a highly significant trend, which strengthens a causal inference,” Brind said.

According to the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer’s count, worldwide fifty-three out of sixty-nine epidemiological studies dating back to 1957 found increased risk for breast cancer among post-abortive women.


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