Monday, August 8, 2011

No pink for me

I responded to Thinking pink may impede breast cancer support: study with this letter in the National Post:

Why I am not thinking pink
National Post · Jul. 30, 2011
Re: Thinking Pink May Impede Breast Cancer Support, July 28.

There are two reasons why I refuse to purchase any products with the pink ribbon, even though I know women who have had breast cancer.

The first is that the whole "pink ribbon" thing has come to symbolize what has become a huge industry in and of itself. According to Charity Intelligence, breast cancer receives 36 times more money from donors than colorectal cancer. And those dollars have little impact on breast cancer prevention.

Charity Intelligence also tells us that breast cancer is the most funded cancer in Canada and receives 28% of all Canadian cancer funding, even though breast cancer represents fewer than 10% of all cancer deaths.

The second reason is that the breast cancer industry refuses to acknowledge the possibility of a link between abortion and breast cancer. It categorically refuses to even consider any evidence in that area. And it refuses to inform women of that possible link as well.

So I refuse to "think pink".

Patricia Maloney, Ottawa.


This elicited a response from Dr. Gail Erlick Robinson, University of Toronto director, Women's Mental Health Program University Health Network, Toronto.
Dr. Robinson says in 2003 the National Cancer Institute and a panel of 100 experts assessed the ABC studies. They concluded there was no link between having an abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer, reaffirming this in 2010.
"Despite this strong statement, anti-abortion groups continue to claim there is a relationship."


Dr. Robinson's letter elicited this letter from Joel Brind
Abortion and cancer link (II)
National Post · Aug. 5, 2011

Re: No Abortion and Cancer Link, letter to the editor, Aug. 3.
Letter-writer Dr. Gail Erlick Robinson cites the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) to claim there is no abortion-breast cancer (ABC) link. Specifically, Dr. Robinson cites the NCI's 2003 "panel of 100 experts" who concluded so. I was one of those experts, but my minority report was only cited by the NCI without disclosing where to find it (It is posted on My report exposed that panel - organized as a so-called "workshop" - as a political sham.

Dr. Robinson further states: "This finding [of no link] was reaffirmed in 2010." True, but the reaffirmation on the NCI's website was merely a response to the organizer of the 2003 "workshop" who was caught with her proverbial pants down, when she co-authored a paper in 2009 that reaffirmed the ABC link.

Joel Brind, professor of biology and endocrinology, Baruch College, City University of New York, New York.


and from Dr. Angela Lanfranchi:
National Post · Aug. 5, 2011

Despite the NCI's conclusion after its 2003 workshop that abortion is not a risk for breast cancer, that conclusion flies in the face of widely known reproductive risks. An abortion does not turn back the clock and make a pregnant woman "unpregnant." If she chooses to have a full-term pregnancy, she will have a lower risk of breast cancer. Since it was first reported in 1743 that nuns have a higher breast cancer risk, medicine has known that a pregnancy lowers a woman's risk of breast cancer.

If she chooses an induced abortion, she will either remain childless, a well-established risk of breast cancer, or delay her pregnancy until she is older, also a well-established risk of breast cancer. In fact, for each year she delays a full-term pregnancy, she increases her risk of premenopausal breast cancer 5% and postmenopausal cancer 3%.

The NCI also disregarded the cigarette lung cancer risk until the 1960s, 30 years after the first study linking the two was published.

Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, clinical assistant professor of surgery, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, N.J. 


Yesterday three more letters were published on the National Post's website.

Dr. Andrew Caruk, Kitchener, Ont. Dr. Karuk says in part:
"It seems that no amount of common sense, scientific reason or past experiences will persuade anti-life people to see the truth."
Jakki Jeffs, executive director, Alliance for Life Ontario, Guelph, Ont. Ms. Jeffs says in part:
"Seventy epidemiological studies dating from 1957 have been conducted, and approximately 80% report a correlation between having an abortion and increased breast cancer risk."
Denise Mountenay. Ms Mountenay sums it up nicely:
"The evidence is clear, we hold the cancer society’s accountable for not informing women about the link, and demand them to do their homework and begin a massive education campaign that will truly prevent women from getting breast cancer. That is to promote motherhood and breastfeeding and renounce induced abortions to save lives of women and their children. If only they would remember that one ounce of prevention, is worth a ton of cure. No pink for me!"
I guess I'm not the only person who refuses to think pink.

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