Did you know that one in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime? Did you know that some studies show abortion might be a contributing factor to breast cancer?
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Although doctors do not know the exact cause of breast cancer, or why one woman gets the disease and another does not, there are many risk factors for breast and other types of cancer.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, some breast cancer risk factors include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Lack of Exercise
- Genetics/Family History of Breast Cancer
- Being Caucasian
Abortion and Breast Cancer
Several research studies have been conducted over the past two decades on the potential link between abortion and breast cancer. According to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health in October 1996, incidents of breast cancer among women who had an abortion is concerning. Researchers looked at various published reports during the years after legalized abortion and concluded, “The results support the inclusion of induced abortion among significant independent risk factors for breast cancer….”
The following year, the Oncology Nursing Forum published a report titled “Breast cancer risk: Protective Effect of an Early First Full-term Pregnancy Versus Increased Risk of Induced Abortion.” The author, who studied various published medical and epidemiology journal articles, books, scientific reports, and journals among other resources, concluded that a first, full-term pregnancy offers protection from breast cancer while an induced abortion (ending a pregnancy through artificial means, not natural miscarriage) increases a woman’s risk for breast cancer. The author stated, “Awareness of a controversial risk factor and its relevance to women allows nurses to include this information when educating and supporting patients. Specifically, nurses need to include questions on this reproductive risk when eliciting a patient’s reproductive history.”
There are also studies that indicate there is not a connection between abortion and breast cancer. At True Care, we believe women need to know there is research that indicates there is a link between abortion and breast cancer, and studies that show there is not a connection between the two. Providing information on both sides allows a woman to make a more informed, educated decision about having an abortion.
Education and Information Empower You
True Care’s nurses perform health histories on our pregnant patients. One of the questions they ask is whether a patient has a family history of breast cancer. Because your family’s history of cancer can be passed on to you through your genetics, recognizing that helps a patient better understand her own potential risk for breast cancer, especially if she plans to have an abortion. Education on these important topics allows a patient to be fully informed about the potential impact on her future health.
Breast cancer in women is the number one type of cancer found in Wyoming residents during the past five years and the second-highest cancer-causing death in our state. This year, the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer is expected to exceed the diagnoses for all other cancers in Wyoming.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Nurse
Therefore, if you’re considering having an abortion, you should discuss the potential risk for breast cancer with your doctor. Or, schedule an appointment to meet with one of our True Care nurses. They will review your health history and help you learn more about the possible risks abortion may present for you.
Contact us to schedule a free appointment with a nurse.