Reader disagrees with letter

Posted: Monday, October 22, 2007

With regard to the letter from MaryLee Killinger and the alleged link between breast cancer and abortion, it is unfortunate that those with a political axe to grind must resort to blatant misinformation to support their mythology.

According to the National Cancer Institute, a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, there is no link between abortion and breast cancer (www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/abortion-miscarriage): "In February 2003, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) convened a workshop of over 100 of the world's leading experts who study pregnancy and breast cancer risk.

Workshop participants reviewed existing population-based, clinical, and animal studies on the relationship between pregnancy and breast cancer risk, including studies of induced and spontaneous abortions. They concluded that having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase a woman's subsequent risk of developing breast cancer. A summary of their findings, titled Summary Report: Early Reproductive Events and Breast Cancer Workshop, can be found at http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/ere-workshop-report.

"The relationship between induced and spontaneous abortion and breast cancer risk has been the subject of extensive research beginning in the late 1950s. Until the mid-1990s, the evidence was inconsistent.

Findings from some studies suggested there was no increase in risk of breast cancer among women who had had an abortion, while findings from other studies suggested there was an increased risk. Most of these studies, however, were flawed in a number of ways that can lead to unreliable results. Only a small number of women were included in many of these studies, and for most, the data were collected only after breast cancer had been diagnosed, and women's histories of miscarriage and abortion were based on their self-report rather than on their medical records.

"Since then, better-designed studies have been conducted. These newer studies examined large numbers of women, collected data before breast cancer was found, and gathered medical history information from medical records rather than simply from self-reports, thereby generating more reliable findings. The newer studies consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions and breast cancer risk."

The anti-choice forces in America continue to ignore the latest studies and spread long-discredited research in a disingenuous attempt to mislead the public about the facts. Their goal is not to educate, but to obfuscate until their agenda of imposing big government control over women's medical decisions is achieved.

Such tactics wither when exposed to the light of truth, so we have a duty to question the motives of those who would deceive us. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

Martin Foulger

East Hampstead, N.H.



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