Wow! Are there any more hot-button topics today than abortion and breast cancer? Yes! If you mix the two it gets very hot indeed!
Now, please let me make something clear: having breast cancer does not imply that a woman has had an abortion. Most victims have not! Also, if a woman has had an abortion it does not automatically imply that she will get breast cancer. As with many medical conditions, there are many risk factors: some which are inherited or genetic and cannot be controlled, and those things, such as diet, which can be effected by behavior.
I am a person who likes to know all the facts. Before I make a decision (especially if my life is going to be impacted) I like to be able to count the cost. For instance, back when I was first married, my husband and I decided that I would go on the birth control pill. Then, two years later I discovered that one of the side effects of the pill was that it would cause a fertilized egg to be unable to implant in the uterine wall. Now, I feel very strongly that life begins at conception and that this back-up mechanism of the pill is an early abortion. Not only did I immediately go off the pill, but I felt very deceived that I was not given this information by my doctor. He did not think that the risk was significant enough to mention, but that was not his decision to make. As a patient, I had a right to know all of the facts.
Okay, so getting back to breast cancer. Remember that yesterday I told you all about the link to estrogen. Basically, the risk for breast cancer increases based on the amount of estrogen that a woman is exposed to in her life. The shorter the time period between the onset of puberty (with the first period) and a woman having her first baby, the better. It also helps to have lots of babies and to nurse them- since during those times the woman will not have a period and she will be exposed to less estrogen.
Before a woman gets pregnant for the first time, her breast cells are primitive and immature and more vulnerable to cancer. When she first conceives, estradiol, a type of estrogen, causes both the normal and pre-cancerous cells to multiply at a huge rate. This causes the breasts to enlarge. By the 8th week of pregnancy, the level of estradiol is 500 times greater than before conception.
At around 32 weeks of pregnancy, the cells begin to change and mature. They become milk-producing tissue. The cells stop multiplying. Everything enters a new and less cancer-prone state.
When an induced abortion occurs before this stage, the process is cut-off midstream. The massively produced, cancer-vulnerable cells are left in their immature state. There is an estrogen over-exposure. (So- what about miscarriage? Yes, the pregnancy is cut off early, but usually there has already been a decline in the estrogen levels. In fact, a lack of hormones is often what causes a miscarriage to occur.)
More than two dozen studies have been conducted around the world which demonstrate this increased breast cancer risk to women. I will go more in-depth about the debate tomorrow. However, many groups, such as the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, deny this cancer link, calling the studies “faulty.” However, Dr. Joel Brind, a leader in the field, has estimated that there are “presently an additional 5,000 to 8,000 cases of breast cancer per year due to earlier abortions and that by the year 2020 there will be an additional 40,000 to 50,000 cases of breast cancer yearly. That is quite a huge disparity.
I have to be honest with you: I see and hear a lot of disturbing things in my job everyday, but this has shaken me! I am far from being a scientist, but my gut tells me that this is really bad and is going to get much worse. Unfortunately, I have no trouble believing that the same organizations that tell women that their 10-12 week old babies in the womb are nothing but a blob of tissue (see the picture to the left!) would lie about this connection too. To allow millions of women to have abortions, knowing that their chance of later getter breast cancer will greatly increase, and yet, not giving them any warning is nothing short of criminal.
Tomorrow, I will attempt to lay out the test results side-by-side, so that you can make up your own mind. Of course, a lot of it comes down to which group you want to believe. However, as women, I think it is critical for us to cast aside all the politics and begin to think for ourselves. You need to count the cost for your own life, because I fear that too many people think you are an expendable victim in what they consider a much bigger war.
Keeping it true! Barb