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Letter to the Editor: Breast-cancer rumor contains inaccurate information

Saturday, May 24, 2008

To the editor:

On May 16, someone placed inaccurate information in Speak Out about breast cancer risk and the supposed connection with abortion. I feel it is extremely important to have correct information when it concerns women's health issues. Hearsay and rumor have no place in medical concerns.

According to the National Cancer Institute, a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) is not associated with an increase in breast cancer risk. Neither is an induced abortion associated with an increase in breast cancer risk. These study findings are rated A-1, which equal "well established strength of evidence" in the ratings key of the National Cancer Institute. A-1 is the highest rating of evidence given by the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors and Board of Scientific Counselors. This information can be found at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics. Look for "Early Reproductive Events and Breast Cancer Workshop."

The American Cancer Society also has a statement that several studies show no connection between induced abortions and miscarriages and the increased risk of breast cancer. This information can be found at www.cancer.org. It is found under "Breast Cancer -- What Causes Breast Cancer?" This article lists several factors that could increase the risk of breast cancer and also lists inaccurate rumors that are spread on the Internet.

I recommend anyone interested in more information about breast cancer to check out either of these Web sites. Both of these organizations have accurate and up-to-date information. Our health is too important to let false statements stand as truth. There are certain risk factors that are linked to breast cancer, and we all need to be aware of those risks.

But induced or spontaneous abortions do not increase the risk of breast cancer, and that is clearly stated by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.

BARBARA CAMPBELL, Cape Girardeau