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Does Abortion Cause Breast Cancer?

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Breast cancer is a rising health problem of women worldwide. To spread the awareness about this dangerous disease, women all over the world wear pink ribbon throughout the month of October.

What is breast cancer?

Does Abortion Cause Breast Cancer?

There are two types of breast cancer. Ductal carcinoma that starts in the tubes (ducts) and Lobular carcinoma that starts in the parts of the breasts (lobules). There are many causes of breast cancer. Age, family history, improper menstrual cycle, excessive consumption of alcohol and abortion are few causes of breast cancer.

How abortion increases the risk of cancer?

The Abortion Breast Cancer hypothesis (ABC) posited that induced abortion can lead to breast cancer. This is because when a woman gets pregnant, the production of estrogen (female hormone) increases. An increase in estrogen levels leads to breast growth. The lactation process starts and milk forms in the breasts. If you abort at this developing stage, studies say that the chances of suffering from breast cancer increases. In worst cases, if you get an abortion in the second or third trimester, chances of getting breast cancer becomes higher. Many researchers and studies have agreed with the abortion breast cancer hypothesis.

However, a study in 1997 New England Journal of Medicine has denied the ABC and conducted the biggest survey on breast cancer. With 1.5 million participants, the New England Journal of Medicine came up with the conclusion that there is no independent link between breast cancer and abortion. If a woman gets pregnant and aborts in the early term, chances of breast cancer reduces. This is because the estrogen levels do not increase in the first 2-3 months of pregnancy as the process of lactation is very slow.

How to detect breast cancer?

Early detection is the key to fight breast cancer. Breast cancer self-examination is done at home and can help you find out if you have any lumps in your breasts.

Step 1: Lie down flat on the bed with your head facing the ceiling. Raise your right arm upwards and then place your wrist under your head.

Step 2: Now use the pads of three fingers (index, middle and ring finger) of left hand on the right breast. Now in circular motions, rub the fingers on the breast touching near the collarbone and underarm. Apply light, then medium and firm pressure on each spot of the breast.

Step 3: Check if there are lumps, any discharge from the nipples or a change in the colour of nipples. Also see if the shape of the breasts and size has changed or not.

Step 4: Repeat the same steps with the left breast.

You can take the self-examination test in the shower, in front of the mirror or by lying down on bed. If you had an abortion and fear of breast cancer, detect at home and do not forget to consult your gynecologist.

Read more about: abortion, breast cancer
Story first published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 15:52 [IST]
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