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The World in Medicine
April 21, 2004

No Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

JAMA. 2004;291(15):1826. doi:10.1001/jama.291.15.1826-c

A comprehensive analysis of studies from around the world concludes there is no link between having an abortion and breast cancer (Lancet. 2004;363:1007-1016). The findings were made by the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors on Breast Cancer, which analyzed data from 53 epidemiological studies conducted in 16 countries.

Studies in the late 1970s suggesting that spontaneous or induced abortion might increase breast cancer risk have been criticized for potential bias. Women in these studies were asked after their breast cancer diagnosis whether they had previously had an abortion; experts believe breast cancer patients are more likely to disclose a history of abortion because they are seeking an explanation for their disease.

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