Skip to comments.Abortion, birth control pill linked to breast cancer, surgeon says
Posted on 10/27/2009 4:13:18 PM PDT by thisisthetime
DAYTON After her best childhood friend died from breast cancer, Ruth Deddens began researching the causes of the dreaded disease.
The Oakwood womans investigation eventually led her to Angela Lanfranchi, a clinical assistant professor of surgery at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey and president of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute. Deddens, active in the 40 Days for Life movement, decided to bring Lanfranchi to town as part of this years local pro-life campaign.
Lanfranchi who insists there are proven links between breast cancer, abortion and birth control pills was the featured speaker at St. Anthony Church in East Dayton and a Sunday afternoon, Oct. 25, public gathering at the University of Dayton. She also spoke at two invitation-only events hosted by Deddens in memory of her friend, Katherine Kit Benham England, who died last Easter.
Lanfranchi labeled hormonal contraceptives a Group 1 carcinogen and said that breasts are different after an induced abortion because theyve grown and there are more places for the cancer to start. She said the same thing happens in premature delivery. In contrast, she said, a full-term pregnancy offers protection against the disease because the mothers mammary glands have fully matured into cells capable of producing milk and most resistant to carcinogens.
I could kick myself in the butt for waiting until I was 40 to have children, said the surgeon, who said she was focused on her career and hadnt realized her fertility rates would drop as she got older. Having children in the early twenties or as a teenager, she said, would also have decreased her breast cancer risk.
(Excerpt) Read more at thewoodwardreport.com ...
Ahh.. The sixties revolution.
I am grateful to have escaped the scourge of The Pill and abortion. I am sorry to say I’d have probably aborted if in a bad situation before I became a Christian.
El Hubbo and I have had our disagreements, but he never wanted me on the pill and we had our kids when I was in my 20s and 30s. So thank God, and thank El Hubbo. He looked out for me when I was young and stupider.
She graduated from medical school without knowing that women's fertility rates drop as they get older?
I call BS. She's making up stories to suit her current agenda.
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Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment
Oral contraceptives actually reduce the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Ovarian cancer is particularly deadly because is it usually diagnosed only after it’s quite advanced. The evidence for oral contraceptive use increasing breast cancer risk is still pretty weak — most of the statistical difference seen is probably attributable to delayed childbearing rather than oral contraceptive use (i.e. women who would have gotten cancer anyway, even if they’d been relying on condoms or diaphragms or IUDs).
I attended this surgeon’s presentation and it was truly an eye-opener. I assure you that she is very knowledgeable and has done her research. Medical research is frequently politicized, just as it was with the tobacco - lung cancer link for so many years. The single most important thing that a woman can do to protect herself from breast cancer is to carry her baby to full term.
It is now well established that birth control medications (contraceptive steroids) increase breast cancer risk, especially if they are taken before the first full-term pregnancy, when breast cells are still immature. Birth control pills are very commonly used by young women. In one study, women who took birth control pills before the age of 20 had a more than ten-fold increased risk of breast cancer. The longer the pill is used, the higher the risk. Contraceptive steroids increase risk whether they are given orally (i.e., "the pill"), by injection (e.g., Depo_provera), implantation, through the skin with a patch, intravaginally with a ring (e.g., Nuva Ring) or with an intrauterine device (IUD). Even "low dose" estrogen pills have been associated with higher breast cancer risk.
Lanfranchi is an agenda-driven quack. She does not teach at a medical school — “clinical assistant professor” is a title that every medical school bestows on hundreds or even thousands of practicing physicians, and just means that if students do a clinical rotation in their practice, it counts — doesn’t mean even a single student ever has.
What study? How many women who took the pill before they were 20? What other characteristics did they have? What about the dozens of large studies that show nothing of the sort? You can find “one study” showing almost anything, but random little studies with wild outlier results are meaningless. I’m sure some leftist quack could find you “one study” that showed Republicans have much lower IQs than Democrats. But when you dig a little, you’ll find the study subjects were something like a dozen poli sci majors at a notoriously left-wing college, so it would hardly be surprising that the handful of Republicans who chose to attend such a college to major in poli sci were on the dim side.
The fact is that there’s a reasonably strong correlation between not having babies at a young age, and higher breast cancer rates. This holds true even for women who never used any kind of contraceptives because they weren’t sexually active. If you’ve got no family history of breast cancer, and a family history of ovarian cancer, taking oral contraceptives reduces your risk of cancer.
Of course the Pill is just fine. It’s just common sense that a massive dose of synthetic estrogen to purposely screw up the reproductive system from doing what it naturally does has only positive side effects! /sarc
One thing makes me absolutely sick about the medical profession, and that is that too many people in it will strongly suggest ALL kinds of lifestyle modification (stop smoking, exercise, change diet) on medical grounds but treat fornication and contraception as if it were some sacrosanct third rail.
Yeah, ovarian cancer whatever. The Pill has always been, is now, and will always be a disgusting example of the medical profession putting the idiocies of the culture over the needs of the patient. Take that to the bank.
What the female reproductive system “naturally does” is to get pregnant almost immediately upon reaching puberty, and produce a baby approximately every 18 months, killing a huge percentage of mothers (and full term babies) in the process. What we take for granted in these modern times — women routinely having healthy babies with only a tiny risk of death for themselves — is attributable to the efforts of the medical profession. The natural death rate from childbirth is about 1 per 100 births, multiplied by the number of births per woman to get a lifetime risk of death from childbirth of over 5%. Currently in the US, the actual death rate is about 1 in 10,000 births, while in places like sub-Saharan Africa and Afghanistan, it remains at the natural rate due to the near-complete absence of medical care. “Natural” doesn’t automatically translate into “safe” or “good”.
In fact, the “female reproductive system” does not get pregnant almost immediately at puberty and then spit out a baby every 18 months. Unless of course, the female who owns the reproductive system in question is for some odd reason having coitus exactly from that moment on with virtually no let up. Part of the “naturalness” of the reproductive system is that it depends on coitus, which, barring the commission of a criminal act, is generally voluntary.
So we have a choice here. Tell people not to screw around and they won’t get pregnant—just like we tell them to eat less, not smoke, etc. Or tell them g’head, KEEP screwing around so then we can pump you full of synthetic estrogen and screw up your menstrual cycle.
I am not down on the medical profession for what it does well, and to be sure, it has saved a lot of lives and done lots of goods for mothers and babies. What I am saying is that its uncritical acceptance of the Pill is inherently contradictory and flies in the face of “first do no harm.”
Voluntary coitus from the onset of puberty through menopause is also natural.
There are a lot of good reasons to mess with the menstrual cycle, some of which are secondary to the typical modern lifestyle which typically features little physical activity and too much food. And the little physical activity part just isn’t going to change — the information age is here to stay, and most people need to spend large chunks of their time studying (from childhood through at least early adulthood) and processing information in connection with employment and personal affairs.
But it’s also not natural for women to have a period every month, because it’s natural for them to spend the vast majority of the time between puberty and menopause either pregnant or nursing. I’ve done a fair amount of genealogy research and can say with certainty that I’d had more periods before my 18th birthday than many of my female ancestors had in their entire lives (due to a combination of the much earlier onset of menstruation in modern times, and my ancestors’ non-stop childbearing beginning at marriage in their mid to late teens, which was also the typical age for onset of menstruation in those times). And plenty of research has shown that the hormone levels associated with natural menstruation are what correlate to higher incidence of breast cancer — more periods in one’s lifetime correlates very strongly with more breast cancer.
“Natural” is just not as compatible with civilization and long, healthy lives as many people would like to think.
Ok. You are arguing it is actually more natural to have less menstruation—as women did in previous ages. That might well be the case. However, you’re still prescribing an artificial means to get to a “natural” result...when a perfectly sensible natural means is there already as it was for our ancestors.
But why GS, why are doctors—and seemingly you yourself—so reluctant to advocate for a simple behavioral modification over a pharmaceutical solution in this case? It really doesn’t make any sense to me. Some will tell kids not to smoke, not to drink, not to have guns in the house for Pete’s sake, but then turn right around and say “well, you’ll have sex anyway, so here’s the Pill and some Gardasil.”
Far as I can tell, there’s NO medical reason for this attitude...just a very bad assumption inherited from the culture at large (and with Freudian roots I’m sure) that sex is some all-powerful force that cannot be resisted.
Oh, and one more thing to throw into the mix here. You’ve heard, I am sure, about the implicated effects that the synthetic estrogens from our sewers are having in feminizing fish populations?
The environmental movement itself seems to be awfully quiet about this finding...again, I believe, because it involves a certain kind of behavior modification that *they don’t like*.
This is not just doctors that are having this problem. It is the entire country at large. I’m afraid we have become sex-addled to the point where we are not seeing clearly anymore.
The reality is that returning to a culture where girls routinely marry very shortly after reaching puberty, and then proceed to have babies every 18 months, is not something that is viewed as desirable by more than a tiny percentage of the population. It’s totally incompatible with an information-based society which required that the vast majority of the population still be full-time students well past puberty, and devote most of their adult lives to things other than producing babies (including devoting a lot of time and energy to educating the small number of children they have). And having girls and women of menstruating age not having babies constantly, directly increases their risk of breast cancer — it makes no difference if they’re sleeping with a different guy every night and taking the pill, or if they’re celibate nuns not taking the pill.
Documentation, please. Part of the problem is the choices we make. Girls should not be engaging in sex "immediately upon reaching puberty." There are consequences to all behavior that does not line up with God's truths. God's design for the female body was and is perfect.
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Observing my own acquaintances (and thinking of my own experience), it is not uncommon for educated and otherwise-aware women to procrastinate on procreation and then be hit by the sad reality of subfertility.
Considering that there are studies that go back to 1981 that confirm this;
Dr. M. C. Pike, at the University of Southern California in l981, published the first serious scientific study that demonstrated a direct association of induced abortion with later breast cancer. He studied 163 women who developed breast cancer before age 33, and compared them with 272 controls. He showed that if a woman had aborted her first pregnancy, her chance for developing breast cancer was increased by a factor of 2.4 times. Pike MC, Henderson BE, Casagrande JT, Rosario I, Gray CE (1981) Brit. J. Cancer, 43:726.),
it shouldn't be a surprise at this point.
Interesting refernces at this link.
It’s pretty obivious if you look at the charts of instances of breast cancers. They were much lower prior to about a decade after the birth control pills became widely used and they also jump again about a decade after abortion became legal.
It says she waited until she was 40. For any medical school graduate, it would be a sign of unusual ignorance not to be well aware that most women’s fertility has substantially declined by that age, and that not a few are completely infertile by that age. For a surgeon who has specialized in breast surgery, in other words whose practice consists largely of women of middle to late child-bearing age for whom the possible effects of chemotherapy on future fertility prospects would be a common concern (with the question of how likely it was that they even still had any fertility to warrant trying to protect, being an important factor in patient counseling, with life-and-death implications), it’s not even remotely plausible, unless she was so clueless and incompetent that she should have had her medical license yanked decades ago.
She’s not a random “educated and otherwise-aware woman”. She’s someone whose profession of three decades has required her to counsel patients as they make difficult decisions about treatment options, including the decision as to whether to pursue or forego chemotherapy as part of a treatment program, while weighing the likelihood that it would make a difference in whether the cancer recurred or spread, against the likelihood that it would bring fertility to an end. If she wasn’t knowledgeable enough about the normal fertility curve to counsel women who were 39 or 40 that foregoing chemotherapy to protect fertility likely amounted to risking cancer recurrence in an effort to keep something they’d already lost anyway, she had no business practicing in this area of medicine.
Look at the chart of average weight of American women over the same period. It’s been climbing steadily, and additional body fat (even short of being medically classified as “overweight”) is well-known to increase estrogen levels and thus increase the incidence of breast cancer. There was an article just a day or two ago about the increasing incidence of breast cancer in young girls, even as young as 10. Increasing body fat (and the closely associated early onset of menstruation) is suspected as one of the factors in this alarming new trend. In addition, the rates of breast cancer in men have been significantly increasing for the past 25-30 years, and we can safely assume that this isn’t due to oral contraceptive use or abortion.
She "hadn't realized"? --- as you yourself pointed out, the possibility of that being something other than a rhetorical hyperbole is vanishingly remote. I think it's possible you're taking one throw-away line which gives far from a complete picture, and using it as an excuse for expansive derogatory speculation.
Why are you so insistant that it has nothing to do with it? Are you aware that other countries have been studing the link for amny years but the studies have never been given credit in this country due to the pharma corps? A friend’s father was a foreign born doctor and up until his death last year I had access to many of the journals he recieved and yes there is a direct link.He knew I was interested and would translate them for me.It’s just too bad women in this country aren’t told the truth.
The quote from the article is I could kick myself in the butt for waiting until I was 40 to have children. Sure sounds to me like she *waited* until she was 40 — not clear if she ever actually had any. Either she actually “didn’t realize” or she really just didn’t care because her career was more important to her (a much more plausible assumption). Oddly, there is no mention as to whether she’s ever been diagnosed with breast cancer, whether she ever took oral contraceptives, or whether her “waiting” involved any abortions.
The whole notion that childbearing is something women should pursue early and often as a way to avoid breast cancer is insane and offensive. The increase in breast cancer rates from delayed or omitted childbearing is clear but small, and most women who choose to delay or omit childbearing are doing so because they’ve decided that they have some other priorities (in many cases, as traditional as wanting to make sure they’ve found a man who’s really good husband and father material, and that they want to spend their lives with and raise their children with).
There is NO scientific evidence that having abortions increases breast cancer rates, despite exhaustive research on the matter, including a solid study from Baylor University medical school, which is hardly known for harboring an abortion-promoting agenda. Anyone who is still running around promoting this notion is rightly regarded as an ideologically-driven quack. If somebody, someday actually produces some real scientific research showing such a link, even in some small subset of women with other key co-factors required, it will be worth discussing, but that hasn’t happened. Angela Lafranchi has in fact never published any medical research, ever, on any topic. Not even as a second or fifth or tenth author, much less as a lead author. The only publications that show up for her in PubMed are 3 opinion pieces in an obscure, ideologically-driven legal journal, and an opinion-based comment (i.e. letter to the editor) in Lancet Oncology. In other words, she’s not a medical/scientific researcher at all, yet she’s running around claiming that all the real researchers in this field are part of a conspiracy: “federal agencies and academicians are participating in the suppression of information about the heightened risk of breast cancer” (from the abstract of her most recently published diatribe in the legal journal).
There is ample evidence linking hormonal contraceptives and also abortion to breast cancer for those who study the issue closely. Start with the fact that the incidence of breast cancer has increased by 40% since 1975. What would cause this? This is what started the good doctor down the path to scientific truth.
In the following textbook, Bland KI, Copeland EM. The Breast: Comprehensive management of malignant diseases, 3rd ed, 2004. Epidemiology of Breast Cancer, the text states that the increased risk from induced abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy is 38%. There are a vast number of studies as well, the majority of which link breast cancer and abortion. Specifically, this is an abortion prior to the first full term pregnancy.
Estrogen in hormonal birth control has been considered a carcinogen by the WHO since studying the issue in 2002, and the NIH lists estrogen as a carcinogen. The estrogen stimulates breast tissue growth, which increases the number of potentially cancerous cells. The increased risk here is also approximately 30% or greater.
The American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) has a couple good articles debunking those that say there is no link between abortion and breast cancer: http://www.aaplog.org/downloads/AbortionComplications/Induced%20Abortion%20and%20Subsequent%20Breast%20Cancer%20Risk.pdf
Dr Lanfranchi is not alone - the data is on her side, and I commend her for speaking the truth.
I'm with you on that.
"The whole notion that childbearing is something women should pursue early and often as a way to avoid breast cancer is insane and offensive."
Show me where anybody has actually advocated that. For you to adduce this and then triumphantly repudiate it is a strawman argument. But I'm away (mostly) for a coupla days. Have a nice weekend, GS.
I have a sister who gets an injection once a year which completely stops her menstruation. She has not had a period in over 5 years. Previously she was on birth control pills.
She is also in her mid forties and has never had a child.
There has been no incidence of breast cancer in my family. But, I worry that she will suffer from it for the reasons mentioned above. Time will tell. I hope I worry for nothing.
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