This article by Dr. Gerard M. Nadal was originally posted on February 18, 2010. Reposting here with permission.
There exists in the peer-reviewed scientific literature a significant body of literature dating to the 1950′s, which shows a clear and consistent link between abortion and breast cancer. I’ve written about some of this on this blog. Click here.
Today, we begin with a consideration of normal breast development in puberty and first pregnancy.
Breast maturation begins at the onset of puberty when girls begin to menstruate. An event called menarche. During menstrual cycles the hormones estrogen and progesterone which are produced stimulate the development of breast lobules.
In each breast, there are 15-25 lobes, each of which is like a main branch on a tree. Each lobe branches off into several lobules, as shown on left. Each lobule prior to pregnancy is comprised of Type-1 and Type-2 cells, which are cancer-susceptible cells.
Once a woman becomes pregnant, her body begins to produce vastly elevated concentrations of estrogen, as well as a steady supply of progesterone. These hormones stimulate prolific development of lobules and ductules in the first trimester leading into the second trimester. By the middle of the second trimester the woman’s breasts have doubled in size.
From the second half of the second trimester and going forward, human prolactin matures the lobule cells into Type-3 and Type-4 cells, which are cancer resistant cells, as shown in the illustration below.
By the end of her FFTP, 85% of a woman’s lobules are cancer resistant. After weaning, many return to Type-3 cells with evidence that genetic changes have occurred leaving these cells cancer resistant. With every subsequent pregnancy, more of the remaining Type-1 and Type-2 lobules mature.
The difficulty presented by abortion is that a woman’s breasts undergo growth and proliferation early in the pregnancy, but are deprived of the maturational effects of the third trimester. This leaves the woman with many more cells which can become cancerous.
Women having miscarriages tend not to produce elevated estrogen levels, and do not therefore undergo the same pregnancy-related breast development.
Oral contraceptives mimic a pregnancy followed by abortion every month, setting up even higher risk for breast cancer.
Next time, more on how cells become cancerous and an introduction to the literature.
Illustrations from the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute