By Joel Brind, PhD
NRL News readers are largely aware that I have lately been documenting the epidemic of breast cancer that has followed the expansion of abortion into Asia—China and India in particular. But lest we forget that abortion and breast cancer are still wreaking havoc among women in the West, a new authoritative paper on the state of the breast cancer epidemic in the UK has just been published.
The primary author of the new study, published in this spring’s issue of theJournal of American Physicians and Surgeons, is Patrick Carroll. Carroll heads the London-based Pension and Population Research Institute (PAPRI). He is not an epidemiologist, but an actuary, whose business it is to identify and track long-term trends in disease incidence and mortality.
Ten years ago, Carroll created quite a stir when his earlier authoritative study established that induced abortion is the single best predictor of breast cancer incidence in eight European countries for which abortion data were available, including in the UK. Similar trends also apply in the US, although one has to read in between the lines of data in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI). The NCI is the federal agency which is viewed worldwide as the preeminent authority on what causes cancer, but which still denies the abortion-breast cancer connection (known as the ABC link).
In the new study, “The British Breast Cancer Epidemic: Trends, Patterns, Risk Factors, and Forecasting,” Carroll and co-workers extend and confirm his earlier results regarding the UK, but focus more particularly on what is called the “social gradient” in breast cancer. The social gradient effect—or more precisely, the reverse social gradient effect—is the fact there is a greater incidence of breast cancer among wealthier, more highly educated women, compared to those less wealthy and with less education. This is actually a worldwide phenomenon specific to breast cancer among female cancers.
So for example, on the Indian subcontinent, breast cancer is replacing cervical cancer as the most common cancer in urban women compared to women who live in rural areas. The cities are where the more modern, better educated and wealthier women reside.
However, “mainstream” breast cancer researchers have largely come up empty in explaining most of breast cancer’s reverse social gradient effect. An unexplained social gradient in breast cancer incidence persists even when they control or adjust for known risk factors such as alcohol consumption and reproductive factors such as nulliparity (childlessness) and older age at first full-term pregnancy, which are more prevalent in educated, professional women.
In the new paper, Carroll et al.confirmed that childlessness and age at first full-term pregnancy—two of the strongest reproductive risk factors for breast cancer—do not parallel breast cancer incidence in the UK. Abortion does, as Carroll had previously shown in his authoritative 2007 paper, as we discussed here.
But the UK is also a particularly good place to study the social gradient (once again, by that we mean there is a higher incidence of breast cancer among wealthier, more highly educated women). That’s because in the UK, social class has always been rather rigidly demarcated. So Carroll was able to use government statistics that break down the social gradient into five or six social class strata by country within the UK, i.e., England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. He was thus able to reveal national differences in the link between social class and breast cancer.
A striking finding of the new study is fact that the social gradient is steepest in England and Wales, where abortion rates are highest, while the gradient is substantially reduced in Scotland, where the abortion rate is lower. Most striking is that in Northern Ireland, where abortion is still essentially illegal and rare, the social gradient almost disappears! Abortion explains, as it were, why breast cancer is a disease of the “higher” classes.
As a breast cancer researcher who has been studying the ABC link for a quarter century now, I’m always gratified when the reality of the link is corroborated by different approaches, such as Carroll’s excellent actuarial studies. It should be a front page story, at least in breast cancer circles.
But they never seem to be interested in tarnishing the reputation of abortion as safe for women.
Editor’s note. Joel Brind, Ph.D. is a Professor of Human Biology and Endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York; Co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, Somerville, NJ; and a frequent contributor to NRL News Today.