LONDON, March 26, 2004 ( – A study published in the Lancet Journal Friday suggests there is no link between abortion and breast cancer.  “What we can truly rule out is an increased risk (of breast cancer)” said Dr. Valerie Beral the co-author of the study which purportedly examined 53 studies in 16 countries.  However, Dr. Joel Brind, a foremost expert on the topic told that the study published in Lancet is easily refuted.  Dr. Brind, a professor at Baruch College, spoke with about the Beral study saying it was “very badly done” and “very vulnerable.”  Beral, a professor at Oxford, has for years focused research on attempting to deny a link between abortion and breast cancer.  Dr. Brind explained that the researchers excluded studies which did not suit their agenda which was to deny any link between breast cancer and abortion.  For example, said Dr. Brind, “they excluded studies in some cases saying that the original authors could not be located.” Following that logic, said Dr. Brind, “We ought to consider going back to assuming that the sun revolves around the earth since it sure looks like that to me, and we have looked all around the university of Krakow in Poland and we cannot locate Dr. Copernicus so we should throw out his data.”  While the study claimed to use better studies only and exclude what it deemed unreliable studies it failed to provide a compelling reason for denying the validity of the rejected studies.  Karen Malec of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer explained, that Beral rejected studies using women’s self-reports of abortion histories (retrospective studies) based on a theoretical problem called “report bias”.  The theory, which several scientific teams have debunked, declared that healthy women lie about their abortions more often than do breast cancer patients. Conveniently for Beral, rejecting retrospective studies allowed her to eliminate 28 major studies, all of which report risk elevations among women who choose abortions.  Brind told that the Beral team, even when it did calculate retrospective studies, used a biased selection process for studies, eliminating many studies showing strong links between abortion and breast cancer, but at the same time violating their own selection criteria to include studies, even unpublished (therefore not peer reviewed) studies showing no link.  Overall, said Brind, the Beral study is “a horrible piece of work.”  Brind told he would be submitting a letter to the editor of the Lancet pointing out the “very misleading” aspects of the study.  Hundreds of newspaper articles around the world trumpeted the study, but Brind wondered how much coverage would be given to his letter debunking it.  See the study in the Lancet:


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