Body cells need cholesterol to function normally since it is an important component of the cell walls. It is also important for producing vitamin D, which is a compound that helps in digestion and making hormones. Your body makes all the cholesterol you need, but you also get it from the foods you eat. It is carried through your bloodstream by lipoproteins. There are two types of lipoproteins. These include the low-density (LDL) and high-density (HDL) varieties. LDL is commonly known as the “bad” cholesterol since it clogs your arteries.
Breast cancer, on the other hand, is an abnormal or malignant tumor that grows in the breast tissues due to an abnormal cell growth. It is usually common in women, although men can also get it. This ailment is the most common type of kind and the fifth cause of cancer deaths with over a million new cases each year.
Statins and Cancer
In a research that took 14 years and included over 1 million people, it was found that women who had been diagnosed with high cholesterol showed low risks of breast cancer compared to their counterparts with low cholesterol. These findings suggested that statins could have been protecting these women against breast cancer. However, extensive research is needed to confirm these claims.
From this study, it was found that patients who had high cholesterol levels had a 45% less chance of developing breast cancer than those who had low quantities of the compound. It was also confirmed that women with high cholesterol concentrations had low rates of breast cancer, had higher chances of survival, and low death rates. A previous study had also shown that statins helped in reducing breast cancer risks, therefore, leading to the conclusion that they were able to provide protection in patients with the disease. This might be good news for women who have had breast cancer prognostics.
Statins are known to bring the best mortality evidence among all other heart medications. This is the reason why patients with high cholesterol could have low chances of getting breast cancer and mortality rates. In the UK, a research found that putting aside factors like sex, age, ethnicity, and the top 10 causes of death, breast cancer patients who also happened to have high cholesterol were 40% less likely to die. Also, patients with high cholesterol had a 45% less chance of getting breast cancer, and if they developed it, they had a 40% less chance of dying.
Patients diagnosed with high cholesterol amounts are usually put on statins, which are drugs that help in lowering the levels of the compound. A new analysis has shown that statins can lower the risk of death for women suffering from breast cancer by 38%. This has already led to a call for fresh trials to reaffirm these outcomes. New research that included seven previous studies examined the protective factors that are linked to cholesterol-lowering statins. They came back with results indicating that breast cancer patients who were also on statins had a lower chance of having their illness resurfacing.
What the researchers concluded was that a patient who took statins after they had been diagnosed with breast cancer had a reduced mortality rate. This was especially true for patients who took statins for zero-to-four years. Overall, statins were linked to a 27% reduction in both breast cancer and generally mortality.
However, patients who had taken statins for more than four years did not show the same promising results. They only showed a 16% reduced chance of cancer-associated death or mortality from any other cause. Depending on the type of statin the patient is taking and its consumption period, it is easy to counter a breast cancer prognosis. It has been found that lipophilic statins penetrate cell membranes comfortably. They also have a positive effect on your immune system, which is a great way of killing cancer cells.
The fear of many breast cancer survivors is that the dreadful illness might recur in the future. This is why the notion that statins reduce chances of a recurrence is an encouraging piece of news to breast cancer patients. However, since these studies need further trials, it is advisable to take caution before thinking of this option. The further trials themselves might take a long time since it is necessary for candidates to go for recurrence checks after a number of years. Nevertheless, this is the only sure way of knowing if statins really do help breast cancer patients or not.
Statins are viable solutions for arresting breast cancer due to their safety and tolerability, but their ability to give positive results is yet to be fully proven. This shows that prescribing statins to breast cancer patients could give them a new chance at life. Comprehensive research needs to be carried out to clear any doubts and make the claim that statins can help in reducing breast cancer risks true. Either way, this is good news for everyone and cancer patients in particular who also happen to have high cholesterol levels.