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Researchers claim abortion increases risk of breast cancer

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7063.962a (Published 19 October 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:962

Abortion significantly increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, according to researchers from the United States.

The meta-analysis of 28 papers concludes that even one abortion significantly increases the risk and that overall the relative risk of breast cancer for women who have had an abortion is 1.3 (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 1996;50:481-96).

Given a lifetime risk of breast cancer of one in eight and 800 000 abortions annually, the authors say that in the United States this would mean an extra 24 500 cases of breast cancer per year that are not attributable to other factors. The lifetime …

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