Abortion and Breast Cancer

Pink satin breast cancer awareness ribbon.The topic of whether abortion increases the risk of breast cancer in women has long been debated in the medical community. As a woman or as a man who loves a woman, here’s the bottom line:

An overwhelming number of research studies have found a significant link between abortion and breast cancer.

Here are the facts:

According to the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute  [Footnote 1], documentation shows that since 1957, 58 out of 74 (78%) research studies conducted in 22 countries confirmed an increased risk of breast cancer following induced abortion. In one of the most recent meta-analysis study conducted in China in February of 2014, a 44% increased risk of breast cancer was found after a woman had one induced abortion (a 76% increase following two induced abortions and an 89% increase following three induced abortions):

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[Footnote 2] Huang, Yubei, et. al. A meta-analysis of the association between induced abortion and breast cancer risk among Chinese females. Cancer Causes Control. Cancer Causes Control Accepted Nov 11, 2013.

Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10552-013-0325-7

The most recent study conducted in the United States in 2009 found an increased risk of breast cancer following an abortion:

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[Footnote 3] Dolle J, et al. Risk Factors for Triple-negative breast cancer in women under the age of 45 years. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 18, no. 4 2009:1157–66.

As did a 2013 study in India

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[Footnote 4]  Kamath R, et al. A study on risk factors of breast cancer among patients attending the tertiary care hospital in Udupi district. Indian J Community Med 2013;38(2)95-99.

Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2013/38/2/95/112440

As did a 2012 study in France:

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[Footnote 5] Lecarpentier J, et al. Variation in breast cancer risk associated with factors related to pregnancies according to truncating mutation location, in the French National BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations carrier cohort (GENEPSO).Breast Cancer Research 2012, 14:R99. Available at: http://breast-cancer-research.com/content/14/4/R99.

The level of increased risk of breast cancer varies but has been founded to be between 1.9 times higher risk to as much as a 20 fold increased risk according to a study in Bangladesh. How much does abortion increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer?



I’ve already had an abortion. What do I do now?

Pink breast cancer ribbon isolated on whiteThe focus now is early detection. Having an abortion doesn’t mean you will automatically get breast cancer; the studies show that abortion increases your chance of having breast cancer. If you’ve had an abortion or several abortions, put together an early detection plan. You can find help in compiling one here.  Ensure you regularly conduct self-examinations for lumps or abnormalities. Here’s a guide to help with self-examinations.

It is also helpful to check your family health history to find out if any members of your family have had breast cancer. Finally,  if you find a lump or an abnormality, schedule a mammogram right away for your piece of mind.