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The deadly silence

By Babette Francis - posted Monday, 29 October 2012


October has been the National Breast Cancer Awareness month in the U.S. Since 1985, major breast cancer charities run events to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its causes, diagnosis, early detection, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer. 

In Australia Breast Cancer Awareness month is marked by the color pink. The National Breast Cancer Foundation raises money from the sale of pink ribbons, and many organisations, including football clubs arrange functions with everyone wearing pink t-shirts. These activities are to be commended for raising money to fight a disease which is the major killer of pre-menopausal woman (other than accidents) and the third major cause of death for post-menopausal women. One in nine women in Australia will suffer from breast cancer.

The pink ribbons worn by Australian MPs in federal parliament last week appeared quite dazzling on my TV screen, but I am disappointed that while these ribbons supposedly fund research into the prevention of breast cancer, the Cancer Councils do not inform women on all the factors which can reduce their risk. Alcohol, obesity, smoking, lack of exercise and a healthy diet are mentioned, but there is a deadly silence about the reproductive health factors which affect breast cancer risk.

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The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), has declared the combined estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives (OCs) as carcinogenic. This is the most recent low-dose contraceptive currently available which the manufacturers trumpet as being safe for women. The IARC places the contraceptives into its Group One classification, the highest classification of carcinogenicity, used only "when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans". This is the same classification as for tobacco and asbestos.

Other scientific facts not in dispute but never mentioned because of fear of feminists are that the earlier in her life a woman has a full-term pregnancy, the more children she has and the longer she breastfeeds (the World Health Organisation recommends two years) the lower her risk of breast cancer. This data has implications for policies on the baby bonus, paid parental leave and child care subsidies. All mothers should be entitled to equitable payments enabling them to breastfeed for as long as the baby will nurse. Paid parental leave schemes and child care subsidies with no equivalent payments to mothers not in the paid workforce induce mothers to wean early and place their infants in day care while they return to careers.

Not all breast cancer is caused by reproductive health factors, but there are now over 51 studies worldwide starting from 1957 to the present time showing that induced abortion increases breast cancer risk. 

A study by Dolle et al (2009) is of particular interest because a co-researcher was Louise Brinton from the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), the premier cancer organisation in the world. However, because of political correctness the NCI refuses to admit the abortion-breast cancer link, and Brinton herself declines to comment when questioned by reporters.

Last week Maxine Morand who moved the Victorian Abortion Law Reform Bill in 2008 wrote a moving article "The breast cancer journey" which was published in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, detailing her own battle against breast cancer.    

Sarah Weddington, the lawyer in  Roe v Wade which legalised abortion in the U.S., and who aborted her only baby, has also suffered from breast cancer. It is sad that feminists will not acknowledge that so far as breast cancer prevention is concerned, her baby is a woman's best ally. 

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Article edited by Jo Coghlan.
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About the Author

Babette Francis is co-ordinator of the Melbourne-based Endeavour Forum and the Australian representative of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer - www.abortionbreastcancer.com. She lived in India during the Partition of the sub-continent into India and Pakistan, a historical event that she believes was caused by the unwillingness of the Muslim leaders of that era to live in a secular democracy.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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