Informed Consent. Again.

Now comes a study in the Linacre Quarterly (published in August 2014) that says that informed consent is becoming a major issue for women concerned about the possibility of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. It’s the fact that patients are not being adequately warned about the dangers they face in choosing to use oral contraceptives or choosing to have an abortion.

Regarding birth control?

Just a few short years ago, the World Health Organization raised the classification of oral contraceptives from “possibly” carcinogenic to Group 1, or “highest carcinogenic risk.” This means that such substances, called “combined oral contraceptives,” are considered carcinogenic to humans. “Combined estrogen-progestagen hormone therapy” (AKA menopausal drugs) was also classified as a Group 1 carcinogen.

Regarding induced abortion?

The Linacre study affirms that many reports from the United States and other Western countries have clearly shown the link between induced abortion (IA) and breast cancer, known as the abortion breast cancer or “ABC” link. And now, we are getting the results of more and more studies from non-Western nations, associating abortion with breast cancer.

And how about warnings? Full disclosure of all the risks associated with oral contraceptives as well as abortion should be the medical, legal, and ethical duty of all medical professionals.

Why do U.S. groups such as Planned Parenthood withhold information from women about the breast cancer risk associated with the Pill and the ABC link? To prescribe a known carcinogen to any woman, much less a child or teenager, is unconscionable. It is indefensible.

The cost to society is high, the Linacre study said, with a rise in breast cancer cases worldwide from 641,000 in 1980 to 1.64 million in 2010.

Bottom line: Women who use the Pill or choose induced abortion should be made aware of their increased risk for contracting cancer: can anyone argue against informed consent?

Here’s the citation to the Linacre study:

Schneider AP, Zainer CM, Kubat CK, Mullen NK, Windisch AK. The breast cancer epidemic: 10 facts. The Linacre Quarterly 2014;81(3):244-277. Available at:

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