Health News

Abortions not increased among cancer survivors

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women who survive childhood cancer are no more or less likely to opt for an abortion during pregnancy than unaffected women, new research from Denmark suggests.

These findings run counter to those in a recent report from the US in which induced abortions were significantly more common among female cancer survivors than among their female siblings without a cancer history, according to the researchers.

The current population-based study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, included 1688 childhood cancer survivors. Dr. Jeannette Falck Winther, from the Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, and colleagues compared the abortion rate in this group with the rate in 2737 sisters of the survivors and in 16,700 randomly selected “control” subjects.

The abortion rate in the survivor group was 19.7 percent, exactly the same rate noted in the population control group and only slightly higher than t in their sisters, 18.9 percent.

“The findings of the study suggest that female cancer survivors who are able to become pregnant believe and act as if they are healthy enough to be parents and are willing to carry through a pregnancy,” the authors conclude.

SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute for May 6, 2009.