OpinionTue Apr 3, 2012 - 12:46 pm EST
Abortion doesn’t cure cancer: science again confirms what we already know
April 3, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Last month brought great news for women who are battling cancer during pregnancy. A collection of studies published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, showed that abortion is not required to treat pregnant women with breast cancer - because there “there is no evidence termination improves outcomes for the mother.”
Then there was further good news for women who become pregnant having completed treatment for cancer. Researchers found that they could safely have babies without increasing the risk of their breast cancer returning.
But while decent folk everywhere were cheering at this welcome news, abortion cheerleaders must have been seething. Science is confirming what best medical practise in Ireland has already shown - abortion is never medically necessary.
The fact remains that abortion is never needed to save women’s lives, and Irish doctors treat pregnant women with cancer on a daily basis without recourse to abortion. LifeSiteNews.com recently reported that one of Ireland’s leading oncologists, Dr. John Crowne, who said on Twitter that while he had faced some “hard decisions re: chemotherapy in pregnancy,” he had never had “a case where abortion was necessary to save mom.”
That doesn’t stop abortion campaigners from telling bare-faced lies, however, and the media is always on hand to amplify their scaremongering; making the entirely false claim that women need abortion to preserve their lives.
Cancer experts agree: chemotherapy does not harm the baby
The collection of research studies published in a special edition of the Lancet found that chemotherapy treatment after the first trimester does not harm the unborn child. Researchers said the evidence showed that women who developed cancer when pregnant did not need to abort their baby, delay their own treatment or give birth prematurely.
In a comment article on the findings, researchers with the Department of Gynaecologic Surgery at the French Institute Gustave Roussy, wrote that recommendations to abort could be an “unacceptable error.”
“Treatment of malignancy in pregnancy is still associated with unacceptable errors: eg, the sometimes unjustified termination of pregnancies or the choice of an inadequate strategy for treatment of a tumour with the risk of compromised survival,” they wrote.
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The Telegraph quoted the lead author on two of the studies, Dr. Frédéric Amant, at the Leuven Cancer Institute, in Belgium, as saying: “The patient and her partner should be informed about the different treatment options and the physician should explain that termination of pregnancy does not seem to improve maternal outcome”.
In an interview in the Lancet Dr. Amant said: “Fear of chemotherapy should not be a reason to terminate pregnancy,” adding that “there is no evidence termination improves outcomes for the mother.”
The series of studies published in The Lancet and Lancet Oncology showed that children born to women who were given chemotherapy while pregnant developed as well as children in the general population.
In just one study, researchers in Belgium followed 70 such children and found they had normal development, IQ, hearing, heart function and general health.
Babies who were born prematurely had lower IQ scores, which is thought to be connected to the early birth rather than the drugs as this is seen in babies not exposed to chemotherapy, the researchers said.
What was most remarkable was that the studies showing abortion is not required for pregnant women with breast cancer were followed weeks later by the findings of another study, presented March 21st this year at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Vienna (EBCC-8), that also overturned previous advice to women. In cases where a woman who had been successfully treated for breast cancer became pregnant, women had often been advised to have an abortion. But this new research found that there was no difference in the survival rates of women who became pregnant after having breast cancer and those who did not.
The findings were presented at EBCC-8 by lead researcher Dr. Hatem Azim, a medical oncologist at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels.
Dr. Azim said, “Frequently, when women with history of breast cancer become pregnant, some physicians advise them to have an abortion for fear that completing the pregnancy could have a detrimental effect on the outcome of their disease.
“We found that this was not true and the outcome was similar, irrespective of whether the pregnancy was completed or not.”
The cancer expert said that the findings meant that “abortion should not be promoted for therapeutic reasons” for pregnant women with a history of breast cancer.
Meanwhile, Irish abortion industry lobbyists continue to push for “medically necessary” abortion to “save women’s lives”.
The debate on abortion is currently raging in Ireland and it was quite remarkable that these findings went almost unreported by the Irish media. It is crucially important then that the pro-life movement ensures that the public are informed as to what science, rather than the abortion industry, has to say.
The Lancet interview also revealed that for Dr. Amant an early experience of caring for a pregnant woman with cervical cancer was pivotal in shaping the course of his career.
“She told me her early diagnosis was thanks to the pregnancy. So she wanted to give her baby the chance he had given her.”
This is what medicine should strive for - treating mother and baby, and doing best for both. These studies add to the evidence recorded by the Irish experience which proves doctors don’t need abortion to save women’s lives. It’s time for the scaremongering to stop.
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