Recent studies by researchers in the UK, show that women who have had abortions face increased risk of breast cancer. In a nutshell, they found that the more wealth women have in England, the more likely they are to delay childbirth, have abortions or avoid children in general. They are also more likely to have breast cancer.
On the flip side, it appears that women in the UK who have children at an earlier age, have lots of babies and breastfeed them, are less likely to have breast cancer. From the research report:
Seven known risk factors were examined as an explanation for these trends:
When a woman is nulliparous (has never had a child), an induced abortion has a greater carcinogenic effect because it leaves breast cells in a state of interrupted hormonal development in which they are more susceptible.
A low age at first birth is protective.
Childlessness increases the risk.
A larger number of children (higher fertility) increases protection.
Breastfeeding gives additional protection.
Hormonal contraceptives are conducive to breast cancer.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is also conducive to breast cancer.
For more information:
Patrick S. Carroll, M.A., is Director of Research, Pension and Population Research Institute (PAPRI), 35 Canonbury Road, London N1 2DG, UK.