Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Abortions do not increase risk of breast cancer


It is known that previous pregnancy decreases the risk of breast cancer. But a new dissertation from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that even brief pregnancies terminated prior to full term can have a certain preventive effect. The results could not confirm several earlier studies showing that the risk of developing breast cancer increases among individuals who have had an abortion.

It has long been known that pregnancy has a preventive effect against breast cancer, but it is not known why. At the same time, several studies have indicated that abortions or miscarriages seem to increase the risk of breast cancer. This is refuted by a new dissertation from the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Karolinska Institutet.

We have looked a some 4,000 journals from maternity centers in which women have responded to standardized questions about abortions, among other things, and have not found any correlation between abortions and increased risk of breast cancer. In fact aborted pregnancies had some preventive effect in our study, says Gunnar Larfors, author of the newly defended dissertation.

Abortion is still a taboo subject in our society and also entails a trauma, so I believe that many women choose not to report an abortion if they are asked out on the street. But on the other hand, if you ask a person who has been afflicted with breast cancer about previous abortions, the probability is great that they will answer the question truthfully. This can skew the results to make it seem as if breast cancer is tied to abortion. In our study all women had answered the same question before developing breast cancer, says Gunnar Larfors.

A study from Denmark based on the Danish abortion register also found no correlation between abortions and increased risk of breast cancer.

Preventive effect unclear

The dissertation also rejects an earlier hypothesis about how pregnancy protects against breast cancer. A hormone that occurs in high levels during pregnancy, hCG, has evinced a preventive effect against breast cancer in experiments on rats and is already in use in clinical studies in the US.

But in several studies we have looked at women who have had extremely high levels of hCG, for example women with severe morning sickness, and have not been able to find any further risk reduction in them. This indicates that hCG is not the hormone to explain the reduced risk of breast cancer after pregnancy in humans, says Gunnar Larfors.

Title of dissertation: Pregnancy-related Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Ulla Bredberg-Rådén | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>