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Review: spontaneous or induced abortion is not associated with development of breast cancer

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Q What is the association between spontaneous or induced abortion and the development of breast cancer?


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and PubMed (to 2003); review articles; and discussions with colleagues.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

published or unpublished epidemiological studies that included ⩾100 women with incident invasive breast cancer in countries with liberal abortion laws; and systematically sought information on every woman’s reproductive history, specifically previous spontaneous and induced abortions.

Embedded ImageOutcome:

breast cancer.


53 studies (n = 83 000) met the inclusion criteria: 13 prospective cohort and record linkage studies (n = 44 000) and 40 retrospective population or hospital …

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  • For correspondence: Secretariat, Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer, Cancer Research UK Epidemiology Unit, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, UK.

  • Sources of funding: Cancer Research UK and World Health Organisation.