“China is on the cusp of a breast cancer epidemic,” acknowledged a prestigious group of American epidemiologists in 2008 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Studiously avoiding the “A-word” the JNCI group blamed the emerging epidemic on “shifting reproductive trends” among “risk factors associated with economic development [that] are largely unavoidable.”
That’s because NCI still officially denies the reality of the abortion-breast cancer link.
But a new systematic review and meta-analysis of abortion and breast cancer in China was just published last week in the prestigious, peer-reviewed international cancer journal, Cancer Causes and Control, dealing the great wall of denial a serious blow.
In this meta-analysis (a study of studies, in which results from many studies are pooled), Dr. Yubei Huang et al. reported that, combining all 36 studies on the ABC link in China that have been published through 2012, the overall risk of developing breast cancer among women who had at least one induced abortion was significantly increased by 44%.
These results, said the authors, “were consistent with a previously published systematic review.” That was the review and meta-analysis that I compiled with colleagues from Penn State Medical Center, and published in the British Medical Association’s epidemiology journal in 1996. Our study reported an overall significant 30% increased risk of breast cancer in worldwide studies.
After 1996, the “mainstream” abortion advocates entrenched in universities, medical societies, medical journals, breast cancer charities, and especially, government agencies like the NCI (In reality, the NCI is just another corrupt federal agency like the IRS and the NSA.) relentlessly targeted the ABC link with fraudulent studies and other attacks, culminating in a 2003 international phony “workshop” by the NCI, which officially declared the ABC link non-existent.
Since 2003, armed with this new official “truth,” NARAL and their ilk have been viciously attacking pro-life pregnancy resource centers for “lying” to women by telling them about the abortion and breast cancer link as a reality. In places like Maryland and New York City they even went so far as to enact laws to muzzle the PRCs. Thankfully, the courts have struck down such laws as violations of free speech rights – so far.
But the new Chinese meta-analysis is a real game changer. Not only does it validate the earlier findings from 1996, but its findings are even stronger, for several reasons:
1. The abortion and breast cancer link is a slightly stronger one, i.e., 44% v. 30% risk increase with abortion.
2. It shows what is called a “dose effect,” i.e., two abortions increase the risk more than one abortion (76% risk increase with two or more abortions), and three abortions increase the risk even more (89% risk increase with three or more abortions). Risk factors that show such a dose effect have more credibility in terms of actually causing the disease.
3. In their new meta-analysis Huang et al. also put to rest the main argument used to discredit the abortion and breast cancer link, variously called the “response bias” or “recall bias” or “reporting bias” argument. The argument is that, due to social stigma attached to induced abortion, healthy women – as opposed to women who’ve developed breast cancer – are more likely to deny prior abortions in their medical history study questionnaire. Hence, it would appear – erroneously – that abortion is more frequent among women who’ve had an abortion. Invoking an argument used by authors in an earlier Chinese study that did not find an ABC link, Huang et al. explain: “The lack of a social stigma associated with induced abortion in China may limit the amount of underreporting and present a more accurate picture of this [abortion-breast cancer] association.”
4. Huang et al. then proceed to explain why two earlier high-profile studies in Shanghai (including the one noted above) did not find the link, essentially by citing and pursuing the argument I articulated in the British Journal of Cancer in 2004. Basically, risk factors tend to be underestimated when the potentially risky exposure (abortion in this case) is so prevalent that it becomes the rule rather than the exception. Simply put, the healthy comparison group of typical, unaborted women, to whom one needs to compare the postabortive women, does not exist, since most women in the population have had an abortion. Huang et al. not only endorsed this line of reasoning, but demonstrated a strong trend among the Chinese studies that backed it up.
5. Finally, the Huang study follows right on the heels of two new studies this year from India and Bangla Desh, studies which reported breast cancer risk increases of unprecedented magnitude: over 600% and over 2,000%, respectively, among women who had any induced abortions.
But even the more modest risk increases like those found in the new Chinese meta-analysis are alarming enough, when one considers that there are over a billion women in China and India alone. A 50% risk increase in half those women due to abortion alone, raising their lifetime risk from 4% to 6% – all very conservative estimates – means 10 million women getting breast cancer because they had an abortion. Numbers like that cannot be suppressed forever.
The irony is that it’s the American government desperately doing the suppressing – not the Chinese communists.
Joel Brind, Ph.D. is a Professor of Human Biology and Endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York, and co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, Somerville, New Jersey.