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Executive Summary:

Induced Abortion and Breast Cancer

Dr. Patrick F. Fagan, Dr. Angela Lanfranchi

Developmental biology and the results of epidemiologic and ecological epidemiological studies show that induced abortion is a risk factor for breast cancer.

Studies often cited as demonstrating no link between induced abortion and breast cancer are fatally flawed. As such, these studies are insufficient evidence for the claim that induced abortion has no influence on a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

By contrast, many studies-none perfect, but some characterized by better method-show induced abortion to have an influence on breast cancer risk. This influence is found in many studies to be positive,[1] and statistically significant.[2] The size of the influence varies across studies, depending on the population considered and the methods used. However, the findings of these studies demonstrate a need for further research. The existing service network of breast centers (which are FDA-regulated and accredited by the National Accreditation Program of Breast Centers) could be converted into a research network, whose resulting database would facilitate the work yet to be done. Future research must be performed so as to avoid the shortcomings identified in previous work so that it is more statistically rigorous.

 


[1] That is, it is found to increase risk.

[2] That is, it can be talked about with some degree of certainty. A marginally statistically significant finding can be talked about with slightly less certainty.