Abortion (New)

ABC Link DENIAL Reaches Asian Research: Commentary (2015)

Last year I wrote in the BCPI Report about the veritable tsunami of Asian studies — largely from China and South Asia — that have sadly confirmed that the Abortion-Breast Cancer link (ABC link) is real and spreading to Asia, with a predictably staggering impact on millions of Asian women.

Meanwhile, Western medical authorities have totally ignored this new body of research, continuing to rely upon flawed “recent” research that dates back a decade and more.

That has not changed, but what has newly appeared — in both Chinese and Indian research — is a Western style broom that would sweep the evidence under the proverbial rug.

In China, the 2013 meta-analysis of 36 Chinese studies by Yubei Huang, et al. confirmed what we had reported in our meta-analysis of worldwide ABC link research in 1996 — an overall 30% increased breast cancer risk among women who’d had any abortions.

But they reported a larger risk increase of 44% which went up with two abortions, and to 89% for women with 3 or more abortions.

Even more compelling was the Huang study’s inclusion of a meta-regression analysis, which explained why, in some studies where the prevalence of abortion was so high that most women had had at least one, the ABC link was masked by the lack of a proper comparison group.

Huang et al. even cited — with proper attribution — the explanation for this anomaly which I had published in 2004.

However, 3 months ago, in the same prestigious journal — Cancer Causes and Control — that published Huang’s 2013 meta-analysis, also published an “updated systematic review and meta-analysis based on prospective studies.”

The first author is Jun Guo, with Hubei Huang listed as the second, although a footnote assigns equal claim to first authorship to both of them.

Interestingly, Huang is the only author from the same institution (in Tianjin, China) as the team that published the 2013 meta-analysis with him. Rather, it’s a completely different group from
Hubei, China, save for one author from Beijing.

The new meta-analysis is not just of Chinese studies.

Rather, it is of worldwide studies based on prospective data (data from medical records, so there is no possibility of faulty recall or reporting of abortion history), including the 1997 Danish study by Mads Melbye et al., which study’s egregious flaws I have documented in great detail over the years since its publication. It also included a slew of prospective studies similarly flawed, which studies had managed to arrive at a conclusion of no ABC link.

In fairness, included in their discussion was the statement that “most early cohort (prospective) studies suffered from potential methodological flaws as argued by Brind and colleagues,” and they cited no less than 6 of my own published critiques, as well as our 1996 meta-analysis.

However, the “conclusion,” which appears at the end of the abstract: “The current prospective evidences are not sufficient to support the positive association between abortion and breast cancer risk.”

Last year I also reported here “on the explosion of new studies from South Asia, of which at least a dozen have appeared (that I know about) just since 2008: nine in India and one each in Pakistan, Bangladesh and
Sri Lanka.”

It was also striking that every single one of these studies reported increased breast cancer risk with induced abortion, with relative risks as high as 10-fold (one study in India) and over 20-fold (one study in Bangladesh).

In fact, the average risk increase reported in the 12 South Asian studies was over 450%!

Now, the South Asian tally stands at 14 studies showing the ABC link (11 from India), with the latest Indian study having just come out this past July. This study, by VR Mohite et al, speaks volumes in terms of how its findings (of a significant ABC link, like the other South Asian studies) are reported and discussed. The Mohite study was on women from rural Maharashtra (the state where the “Bollywood” movies are made), but was not published in an Indian medical journal; rather, in the Bangladesh Journal of Medical Science.

Considering that the Mohite study was the 14th South Asian study in the last 7 years to report that women who’ve had an abortion have an increased risk of breast cancer, Mohite et al. would cite several of them and conclude that they have confirmed this universally reported finding among South Asian women.

This would be all the more expected since the only other study reported in a Bangladeshi journal — the 2013 study of Jabeen et al. on Bangladeshi women — reported the astonishingly high risk increase of almost 2,000 percent!

Instead, the Mohite study is a classic example of minimization.

While they reported that standard reproductive risk factors such as nulliparity and not breastfeeding were “strongly associated with breast cancer,” they do not mention abortion at all in their “conclusion” section.
In order to find any mention of abortion you need to go to the body of the paper, at the end of which you find the very same conclusion as in the abstract, but with the following clause appended: “however, weak association was seen with factors such as age at menarche and history of

In discussing their own finding of a statistically significant relative risk of 1.6 (60% increased risk) with abortion, they say “Similar finding has also been reported by Ozmen V (2009).”

True enough, the 2009 study by Ozmen et al. on Turkish women did report a similar relative
risk of 1.66. Yet none of all the other studies from South Asia are cited.

Instead, the reference to the Ozmen study is followed by: “However several other studies have contradictory results about association of abortion and breast cancer and actual pathophysiology has not yet been fully understood.”

For this explanation they rely on a 1997 review by Wingo et al. in the US. They also say that their finding of a statistically significant association for abortion was “nullified during the multivariate analysis,” although they do not show the data.

However, one can look at Table 2 of the Mohite study which has the raw data. There, they only show the odds ratio (the relative risk statistic) for women with one or more abortions compared to women with no abortions. They show the odds ratio of 1.6 (although their raw data calculates out to 1.66, which they round off to 1.6 instead of 1.7).

They also report that there were 12 women in the study who’d had more than 1 abortion, and 11 of the 12 were in the breast cancer group.

That calculates out to a relative risk of 12.0; a risk increase of 1,100 percent.

That statistic is never mentioned anywhere in the paper: the reader needs to
calculate it from the raw data.

This disturbing characteristic of hiding the ABC link in South Asian studies actually appeared first last year, when another study of women from Maharashtra, India, by Unmesh Takalkar et al., Takalkar actually found a statistically significant 180% increased risk of breast cancer among women with one or more abortions.

In their results section, they straightforwardly reported the data, called it “a strong positive association.”

But in their abstract, the only mention of abortion was that they had asked subjects about their abortion history. Abortion was not even mentioned at all in the conclusions.

Look at the most recent papers on the subject from Asia, where abortions are now commonplace and a breast cancer epidemic is raging.

But to find the risk, you will have to read them very carefully.

[October 2015, Joel Brind, Ph.D., The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, [email protected], www.bcpinstitute.org, http://www.bcpinstitute.org/report/BCPI-rpt-October-2015.pdf ]

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