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Monday, 14 August, 2000, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Doctors dismiss abortion risk report
Breast Cancer Tumour
No firm evidence links abortion with breast cancer
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has hit out at media reports linking abortion with cancer.

A report in a Sunday newspaper suggested that women whose pregnancies are terminated are at increased risk of developing breast cancer.

The article was based on research carried out in the US.

The research suggested that women who had terminations were 30% more likely to develop breast cancer than those who had not had an abortion.

The association found in some studies has not been found in others

RCOG statement

The newspaper report said that this finding was backed by the royal college.

But in a statement on Monday, the RCOG firmly denied that it supported the findings.

It said that research into the links between abortion and breast cancer was inconclusive.

"The RCOG wishes to reassure women who have had an abortion or who have breast cancer that the research evidence on this question to date is inconclusive.

"The association found in some studies has not been found in others of equal quality", the statement said.

It added that other studies had "not shown any significant association" between abortion and breast cancer.

I think it's scandalous that they have done this and caused so much distress

BPAS spokeswoman
Around 180,000 terminations are carried out every year in England and Wales and a further 12,000 take place in Scotland.

At least a third of British women will have had an abortion by the time they reach the age of 45.


The British Pregnancy Advisory Service said it had received calls from distressed women as a result of the newspaper report.

"We are really critical of the story. It is misreporting comments made by the Royal College and ourselves," said a spokeswoman.

"We have had people on the phone this morning who have had abortions last week, five years ago and 10 years ago. They have been terrified by what the newspaper has said.

"I think it's scandalous that they have done this and caused so much distress."

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09 Jun 00 | Health
Fury at teenage abortion advice
29 Nov 99 | Medical notes
Emergency contraception
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