Breast Cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in women between the ages of 20 and 59. It is vitally important to understand why abortion increases a woman’s risk for developing breast cancer.
You have a right to know this life saving information while you are deliberating and trying to make an informed decision.
• The biggest surge of estrogen occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy.
• This stimulates the growth of breast tissue.
• Other hormones kick in at the end of pregnancy that make the breast tissue mature.
• These hormones remove cells that are not needed.
• Once mature cells are ready to produce milk, they are no longer growing.
• They are much less likely to be subject to the effects of carcinogens, the substances that produce cancer.
If you have an abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, you get all the growth promoting effects on the tissues because of the big estrogen surge. Without the differentiating and maturing effects of the later hormones, the net result is the opposite of what you find in a full term pregnancy.
“A full term pregnancy, especially when it is early in a woman’s reproductive life, is protective against breast cancer.
An early abortion not only does not confer that protection but instead causes increased risk. Thus the extra estrogen ultimately can cause abnormal cells to grow into full blown cancer.”
— Dr. Joel Brind
QUESTION: So, abortion leaves breast cells at a more vulnerable state for breast cancer while full term pregnancy leaves breast cells at a protective state against breast cancer?
ANSWER: Yes. When a pregnancy is terminated by induced abortion, the maturation process of the breasts is abruptly stopped before breast cells are able to produce milk. It’s the abrupt interruption of full maturation that serves as the trigger for these cells to become more vulnerable to a diagnosis of breast cancer. If the pregnancy were completed, the chances of developing breast cancer have been greatly reduced.
QUESTION: What if I have a miscarriage?
Answer: A miscarriage is the natural termination of an abnormal pregnancy.
• Most miscarriages that occur in the first trimester of pregnancy do not increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
• Miscarriages are frequently associated with pregnancies that have a low estrogen level.
• Estrogen is made from another hormone, progesterone.
• When a low level of progesterone is present, estrogen levels are low also, frequently causing miscarriage.
QUESTION: So if I never get pregnant, am I a higher risk for developing breast cancer?
Answer: Yes. Women who do not give birth during their childbearing years are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. The earlier in life a woman has a full term pregnancy, the lower her risk.
“Of the 500,000 women every year who get abortions and who have never had a full term pregnancy, you are increasing the average lifetime risk among them by at least 50 percent.”
— Dr. Joel Brind
This information is not meant to scare you but rather to inform and empower you when taking charge of your health. Women deserve to know:
• 13,000 of the 267,000 diagnosed cases of breast cancer a year are attributable to abortion.
• One case an hour of breast cancer is attributable to abortion.
• Women who abort their first pregnancy are at higher risk for developing breast cancer.
• Women who abort younger than age 18 have an even higher risk.
• Women who abort over the age of 30 have an increased risk.
• African American women have a higher risk.
• Women who have a history of breast cancer in their family have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
This information can be extremely important for women who have already experienced abortion.
• When women know they have a higher risk factor for developing breast cancer, they need to be screened regularly.
• Regular screenings and breast cancer prevention therapies are key to treating women with higher risk factors.
• The earlier breast cancer is identified and treated, the better the outcomes are. (Treating breast cancer in the early stages makes a significant difference in prognosis).
QUESTION: Is there any other information I need to know?
Answer: Looking at the long-term effects of abortion is key to taking charge of your future health. Talk to your doctor during your breast exam if you have experienced abortion and get screened regularly.
• Before the legalization of abortion in 1970, 1 in 12 women developed breast cancer.
• Today, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
• Women can reduce their risk by diet and exercise.
• Having a full term pregnancy, especially early in life, reduces your risk factors.
• Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women between the ages of 40 and 59.
QUESTION: How can I learn more about this research study?
Answer: For more information and access to research studies:
Dr. Joel Brind
Professor of Human Biology and Endocrinology
At Baruch College
City University of New York
President of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute
B.S. from Yale University
Ph.D. New York University