RCOG Statement on Abortion and Breast Cancer

Professor Allan Templeton, Honorary Secretary of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said:

"The College is currently in the process of updating its guidance on the care of women requesting induced abortion. As part of this process we have carried out an extensive review of the literature in this area and the evidence now concludes that induced abortion is not associated with an increase in the risk of breast cancer

"The decision to have an abortion is often a very difficult one and it is important that women have access to accurate and unbiased information to help them take a course of action that is appropriate for them in their personal circumstances. It is not helpful to women to raise anxieties about putative associations between abortion and breast cancer, when the evidence now overwhelmingly points to there being no increased risk."

Notes to Editors:

  1. In 2000 the RCOG published a national evidence-based guideline on The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion. A review of the literature at that time concluded that a link between induced abortion and breast cancer was unproven. The RCOG is currently reviewing this guideline and the evidence published since 2000. Taking into account literature published since 2000, there is now evidence to conclude that induced abortion is not associated with an increase in breast cancer risk. The College expects to publish its updated guideline in Spring 2004.
Date published: 28/01/2004
Published by: Website Manager
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