Induced Abortion Increases Risk for Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
21 October 2021
Quentin L. Van Meter, MD, FCP, President
In recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) would like every young woman to be aware of how the reproductive choices she makes may affect her future risk of developing breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the United States. Fortunately, there are risk factors for breast cancer that are modifiable – that is, they depend upon lifestyle choices made by young women. A diet low in fat, high in omega-3 fatty acids, maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and avoiding alcohol and smoking will decrease a woman's risk of breast cancer.
Induced abortion prior to 32 weeks gestation may also increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, especially if she has a positive family history of breast cancer or has an induced abortion during her adolescent years. This is because induced abortion interrupts the normal development and maturation of the breast cells that occurs during pregnancy, leaving the cells at much higher risk for malignant changes.
“It is important for young women to understand all the risks associated with reproductive health choices, so their decisions are truly informed," states Dr. Jane Anderson, co-author of the ACPeds statement, Reproductive Choices of Young Women Affecting Future Breast Cancer Risk.
The statement discusses research that has linked the rise in breast cancer cases to increased rates of induced abortions in many nations.
Dr. Jane Anderson continues, “These reproductive choices are modifiable risk factors for the development of breast cancer. Women have the right to know accurate risk information to shape their reproductive health decisions.”
For more information on the link between breast cancer and induced abortion, please view the position statement: Reproductive Choices of Young Women Affecting Future Breast Cancer Risk.
About the American College of Pediatricians
The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is a national medical association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. It was founded by a group of concerned physicians who saw the need for a pediatric organization that would not be influenced by the politically driven pronouncements of the day. The mission of the ACPeds is to enable all children to reach their optimal physical and emotional health and well-being. The ACPeds is committed to fulfilling its mission by producing sound policy, based upon the best available research, to assist parents and to influence society in the endeavor of childrearing.