A professor of surgery, breast and endocrine at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Dr. Moses Momoh has said that abortion is one of the causes of breast cancer.
Speaking recently on a television programme monitored in Lagos by News Gazette, Momoh traced the upsurge of breast cancer to the legalization of abortion in the United States in the late 1950s and Europe in the early 1960s.
“When we teach students, we have about 12 risk factors of breast cancer. We have those that have been confirmed and we have those that are still being studied. The issue of termination of pregnancy is one of them.
“What we find here recently at University of Benin is that among patients that have cancer, when you question them on the number of termination of pregnancies they have done, they are usually truthful and they will tell you that.
“We find out that women who have had several abortions tend to come down with breast cancer at an early age of 20, 32, and 34.
“Now, there is a link. Most women know that when you get pregnant, the first sign you have even before you miss your period is the changes in the breasts and nipples. When you get pregnant, it takes two weeks for you to miss your period.
“Once a woman gets pregnant, the sperm and the egg meet to form what is known as the zygote. The breasts have to prepare for breastfeeding for the next nine months and it is a gradual process.
“And by the last three months, there are changes in the breasts preparing for the milk to be let down. Now when you terminate the pregnancy abruptly, you abrogate the processes in the breasts.
“Many girls know that when they terminate a pregnancy at 12, 14 weeks, there is already milk in the breasts. When they do that the milk is not let out; the milk gets congealed in the duct and becomes an irritant,” he said.
Momoh who was commissioner of health in Edo State said when such findings were published there was stiff opposition from some interest groups in the United States.
“We had stiff opposition from the U. S., especially those who promote abortion as a weapon of population control. They did not want to hear that abortion predisposes women to breast cancer,” he added.