An abortion or miscarriage does not increase a woman's risk of breast cancer, according to results released yesterday from a decade-long study of more than 100,000 women. The study is the most recent in a series that have undercut a concern used by activists to dissuade women from having an abortion.
"It's important for women to have the facts," said Dr. Karin B. Michaels of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, lead author of the study. An expert panel convened by the National Cancer Institute concluded in 2003 that there was no evidence to support a link between abortion and breast cancer, she said, "and our study is very much in line with that."
But Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, said: "Clearly, the Cancer Institute must suspect a link. ... Why else would they continue to pay for these studies?"