Friday, February 7, 2014

China and the abortion-breast cancer link

... as Huang and colleagues point out, “the incidence of breast cancer in China has increased at an alarming rate over the past two decades” – from around 36 cases per 100,000 women to 51 cases. -

 Why? One answer could be that multiple abortions eroded the Chinese advantage. The Huang study notes that China has one of the highest prevalences of abortion in the world. An average of 8.2 million medical terminations a year were reported between 1983 and 2010. It is estimated that one in four Chinese women have had at least one abortion, and around 40 pregnancies are aborted for every 100 births. 

 But no-one looking at the twin epidemics of abortion and breast cancer in one-child China could responsibly dismiss the possibility that one contributed to the other. “As one of the countries with the highest prevalence of IA [induced abortion], in China, it is particularly important to clarify the association between IA and breast cancer risk,” write Huang and co-authors.

 A study from Southern India published in the Indian Journal of Community Medicine in May found a 6-fold greater risk of breast cancer among Indian women with a history of induced abortion compared to women with no history of abortion. In a similar study from Bangladesh published in the Journal of the Dakha Medical College in April increased risk from abortion was even higher – 20 times that of women with no abortions. That’s increases of 2000 percent and 600 percent!

 Lei Fan and colleagues have hinted at a veritable tsunami of breast cancer threatening China as wave after wave of women who have been compelled to abort their babies in order to meet the rules of the Chinese fertility revolution grow older.

Women in the prosperous and free countries of the West are under no such compulsion, but they do suffer under a quasi-official rule that withholds from them information about abortion that may be vital to their health and their very lives.
Ironically, it is the totalitarian regime in China that may be setting the standard for freedom of information on this issue. Let’s see what happens next.

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