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Abortion, Birth Control Pills, Raises Breast Cancer Risk

Posted by on Jan. 8, 2010 at 9:07 PM
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Abortion, Birth Control Pills, Raises Breast Cancer Risk
Friday January 8, 2010

In 2003, the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) sought to reassure women that using birth control pills would not raise their risk for breast cancer. NCI also told women that having an abortion was not a risk factor for breast cancer. Now it turns out that a study published in April 2009 by Jessica Dolle and other researchers of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center shows just the opposite: oral contraception (OCs) is linked with an increased risk for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in women who are 45 years old and younger. The research paper, "Risk factors for triple-negative breast cancer in women under the age of 45 years," was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. This research paper features a table of risk factors, which includes induced abortion as one of several "known and suspected risk factors".

Dolle's research shows that if you started taking birth control pills before age 18, your risk for TNBC is increased by 3.7 times. If you've been using The Pill within the last one to five years, your TBNC risk is raised 4.2 times. Triple-negative breast cancer is aggressive and strikes women who are under 40, and many victims are African Americans. Survival odds for TBNC are quite low.

As if that news were not alarming enough, a statement by NCI researcher Louise Brinton admits that abortion raises breast cancer risk by 40%. Brinton spearheaded the 2003 NCI workshop about the abortion-breast cancer link (referred to as ABC). That workshop made every effort to assure women that having induced abortions was not linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, and that research did not support an ABC link. Now NCI, usually a trusted institution, is telling us that there is a 40% risk increase for women who have had abortions.

Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2002, I took birth control pills for about 5 years. They prevented conception, made me a little queasy, but seemed otherwise harmless. In those days, the hormones in The Pill were lower than contraceptives that were produced in the 1980's, so I thought they were safe. After all, a doctor prescribed them for me - so no health risk, right? Maybe they were wrong! As soon as my breast lump was detected on a mammogram, when I was 46 years old, I was told to stop taking The Pill. That was one year before NCI told us that The Pill would not raise my risk for breast cancer. Now, I wish I'd never taken it. Perhaps one's risk is not as simple as taking The Pill, or eating a healthy diet, or a genetic mutation - but if my risk is lower now because of being off contraceptives and never having had an abortion, I'm glad there's something I can do. I just wish agencies like the NCI would get their story straight, so we have as much information as possible, to reduce our risk of breast cancer.

http://breastcancer.about.com/b/2010/01/08/abortion-birth-control-pills.htm

by on Jan. 8, 2010 at 9:07 PM
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