October 10, 2012
CHARNETTE MESSÉ had an abortion and used oral contraceptives. She believed these led to breast cancer in her thirties. In this video, she discusses her experience. As far as I know, it is not possible for Messé to have known conclusively that either the abortion or synthetic hormones caused her cancer. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that they did and that these factors have led to the deaths of many others. Messé died last December.
—— Comments —–
A reader writes:
I’m not trying to be provocative but it would seem pro-life and religious people think there is a link. And on the other side choice pro-choice and non believers in God think there is no link.
I’m finding it hard to research, most doctors I have spoken to look at me funny. If there is a link it is not well known among the people I’ve talk to. When I look on the Web it seems there is no middle ground.
I want to believe there is a link, because the left is mostly wrong about everything. I will continue to look for information but I do find it hard on this subject.
Do you consider the U.S. National Cancer Institute to be a religious organization?
The studies have not been done by religious organizations. They have been conducted by reputable scientists. There is extensive discussion of these studies at the website of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer (link above).
Obviously both sides — the right and the left — have an interest in the conclusions. But ultimately, medical research is decisive. Why do those who speak of abortion as a matter of “reproductive freedom” or “reproductive health” not even acknowledge this research?
Also, remember that the potential for lawsuits is enormous. Doctors have an interest in keeping the issue out of the press and in preferring to remain in the dark.
Even if the research is not accepted by everyone as conclusive, abortionists owe women who are considering abortions the fact that there is some debate. Think of the many disclaimers included on products which contain ingredients that cause cancer. And yet women are not told of these findings regarding breast cancer.
The reader writes:
For someone who does not know much about the topic (me) I looked at the video you posted and think this women may have got breast cancer from something else. I look at “global warming” and everything is blamed for this. So when I see this video I’m skeptical. When I do a search in google I see sites like this by the American Cancer Society. It seems reasonable at first glance.
Love your blog. I read it everyday. Thanks for the reply.
First, I agree with your point that this video does not prove anything and, of course, I did not post it as a form of proof of the abortion/breast cancer link.
Yes, this is a hotly contested subject. (See the Coalition’s comments about the American Cancer Society.) However, I do think the public deserves to know that it is hotly contested. As it is now, most women apparently have never even heard that there are studies that at the very least suggest a link.
Only in America could Planned Parenthood etc. get away with saying they are concerned about women’s health. If PP and their ilk were truly interested in women’s health the following would be common knowledge and taught in all high school sex ed classes:
That to remain in optimum, lifelong good health, not only should a woman not smoke, eat right and exercise, but she should severely limit the number of sexual partners she has.
That abstinence is an easy and common sense way to promote good health.
That oral contraceptives may cause breast cancer.
That abortion may cause depression, breast cancer and infertility.
That having multiple partners threatens fertility with silent STD’s.
That STD’s are rampant and lifestyle hampering. And really icky.
That it’s more effective to avoid STD’s by abstinence than vaccines.
That their peak fertility years are between 21 and 30.
That it is proven that people in long marriages have longer life spans.
It occurred to me while writing this that they will never promote any of the above because they consider reduced fertility, abortion and contraception a good thing and worth paying a price for. After all, PP is an organization with eugenics at it’s root. They decide for women what price each woman will pay when they withhold vital information. It is breathtakingly arrogant and evil.
For those who are interested in a semi-fictionalized account of the development of oral contraceptives, and their links to breast cancer (and more important, pollution of the environment!), I highly recommend the novel, Fatherless, by Brian Gail. It’s very readable, and there is a section at the end that lists scholarly materials regarding the breast cancer link. Here is a link to information about the book (it’s actually a trilogy).
Dr. Gayle Borkowski writes:
I would like to help clarify some of the information on this topic. There is medical literature that documents a very small increased risk of breast cancer for a woman who is on oral contraceptives for greater than 10 years before she has her first pregnancy. There is no increased risk demonstrated otherwise. There are significant benefits to oral contraceptives for women’s health including a very significant decrease risk of ovarian cancer, and decrease in complications, including infertility, due to endometriosis. We need to be careful not to take a little information and blindly generalize “OCP’s are bad for women’s health.”
There is significant literature that links abortion to an increased risk for breast cancer. There are also studies that show an increased risk for maternal morbidity and mortality associated with elective abortion compared to childbirth. This is in direct conflict with the mantra we have been taught that “abortion is safer than childbirth”. This has generally been buried by the largely liberal organizations that control health care. Most physicians are simply not aware of this because their medical organizations don’t publish the literature for them to review. It’s not a conspiracy of physicians to avoid malpractice, it’s the liberal politics influencing what gets fed to both the public and the professional.
I am an OB/GYN in practice for 18 years, and a member of aaplog: American Association of Prolife Ob/Gyn.
Thank you for writing.
It is my understanding that oral contraceptives are more of a risk factor for breast cancer when used in the teenage years. Also, studies at the Coalition on Abortion/Breast cancer suggest that delayed childbearing in itself is a risk factor.
Nina S. writes:
I have read that oral contraceptives can decrease the risk of ovarian cancer. However, that benefit (up to 50%) requires taking the pill for more than 10 years. Since this number comes from an update to a study, I’m uncertain whether this benefit comes from high-dose pills or the more popular low-dose pills.
On the other hand, a woman gains a 40% decrease by giving birth to her child. Breastfeeding will further decrease the risk, and any more children she bears reduce her risk by an additional 14%. So, a woman can bear two children for a 54% decreased risk of ovarian cancer (simultaneously reducing her breast cancer risk) or take the pill for a decade for a 50% decrease. Taking something the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified as a Group 1 carcinogen for 10+ years can’t be good for your health.
Here’s some more facts.
In addition, oral contraceptives are a major environmental issue.
Dr. Gayle Borkowski wrote: “…We need to be careful not to take a little information and blindly generalize “OCP’s are bad for women’s health.”
But they are bad for women’s health. It’s not just about cancer and stroke, as serious as those conditions are. It’s much more grave and far-reaching. The sexual “freedom” oral contraceptives led to a revoluntionary and fundamental change in the way human sexuality is viewed. In the end, contraceptive use in general can be directly tied to abortion and promiscuity with it’s promotion of the idea that sex doesn’t need to result in pregnancy and that sex therefore can be enjoyed independent of family life, i.e. outside of marriage. This mentality has changed life in America as we knew it, has permeated the culture. We are told it’s OK to sleep around, just use the necessary gadgets and pharmaceutical products, pre-sex surveys and more pharmaceuticals post-sex to ensure one isn’t inconvenienced after doing so and everything will be fine. Why isn’t anyone simply saying it’s not OK to sleep around?
Now many young college women who want to enjoy life before marriage sleep with multiple partners starting in college, without understanding the serious consequences – because no one tells them. They sleep around with the Pill’s help, even while it betrays them by telling them tantalizing lies about sexual freedom with impunity. This new view of sexuality has ended up creating an epidemic of STD’s which have serious health consequences, including cervical cancer and infertility. We now have a vaccine for STD’s. A vaccine! 20 million people are currently infected with HPV alone in the U.S. with six million new cases a year. Almost all cervical cancer is HPV-associated. That is serious. The Pill carries the weight of all this sickness and sorrow on it’s back.
More from the CDC website: “People can also lower their chances of getting HPV by being in a faithful relationship with one partner; limiting their number of sex partners; and choosing a partner who has had no or few prior sex partners” (PP’s website makes no such recommendations that I could find, tellingly). Doctors have a duty to speak quite frankly to young men and women about the very grave risks they are taking by sleeping around and to aggressively promote the CDC’s recommendations for avoiding sexually related illness.
I want to underscore what “a reader” and Dr. Borkowski have said: most doctors are utterly unaware of the abortion-OCP-and-breast-cancer controversy. Understand: it’s not merely that most doctors disagree that there is a link, but most have not heard that there is a debate surrounding the issue whatsoever. When I was in residency (within the past five years) I was going to do a research project on the question of a link between contraceptive pills and breast cancer, but was talked out of it by several supervisors who thought the topic was unworthy of investigation because they had never heard tell of it.
To me, the issue highlights the power of the supposedly “unbiased” and “scientific” literature, but that is a whole other discussion.