Link be­tween abor­tion and breast can­cer

Lesotho Times - - Health -

A RE­PORT from re­searchers at Ge­or­gia Re­gents Univer­sity has pro­vided fur­ther ev­i­dence sug­gest­ing a link be­tween breast can­cer and abor­tion.

The study, re­leased 24 April, con­sid­ers the link be­tween genes and breast can­cer de­vel­op­ment. Re­searchers found that a gene that af­fects breast de­vel­op­ment dur­ing preg­nancy, DNMT1, also pro­duces cells that can be pre-can­cer­ous. But DNMT1 reg­u­lates another gene that may sup­press tu­mour de­vel­op­ment.

While the re­search pro­vides in­sight into breast can­cer treat­ment, the re­searchers also noted a link be­tween breast tis­sue de­vel­op­ment dur­ing preg­nancy and can­cer that can be ex­ac­er­bated by abor­tion.

When a woman’s preg­nancy ends early, the im­ma­ture breast cells are more likely to be­come can­cer­ous than ma­ture cells, said the study’s lead au­thor Ra­jneesh Pathania.

Though the link isn’t a new rev­e­la­tion, “the in­ter­view re­veals that re­searchers know and ac­knowl­edge the link,” said Donna Har­ri­son, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Pro-life Ob­ste­tri­cians and Gy­nae­col­o­gists.

But the most re­cent state­ment from the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety dis­cred­its any link be­tween breast can­cer and abor­tion: “At this time, the sci­en­tific ev­i­dence does not sup­port the no­tion that abor­tion of any kind raises the risk of breast can­cer or any other type of can­cer.” The Royal Col­lege of Ob­ste­tri­cians and Gy­nae­col­o­gists in Great Bri­tain has also dis­cred­ited the link.

Philippa Tay­lor, head of public pol­icy for the Chris­tian Med­i­cal Fel­low­ship in the United King­dom, said in a re­cent op-ed that the link is close enough that women de­serve to be in­formed.

“I won­der how many women with an un­wanted preg­nancy would like to be in­formed that abor­tion is a known risk fac­tor for breast can­cer? Even though this is not yet uni­ver­sally ac­cepted, ev­ery woman con­sid­er­ing abor­tion surely has a right to know there is on­go­ing de­bate on this is­sue,” she wrote.

— World­mag

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