BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Health
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Background Briefings 
Medical notes 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

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.

Distress

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."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

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


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories