A new study has found that there is no link whatsoever between breast cancer and cholesterol levels and the use of statins or lipid lowering drugs to control the same.
The details of the study are available in the October 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The article says that although some evidence has been uncovered in previous studies to suggest that the statins may work in conjunction with other chemotherapy drugs in breast cancer, studies that specifically tried to link up the two have given out mixed results. In the current study, data from the Nurses' Health Study was used to check for any association of breast cancer with statins and high levels of cholesterol. A. Heather Eliassen, Sc.D., of the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass., and colleagues tracked 79,994 women through questionnaires completed in 1988, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000. Breast cancer cases starting from 1988 to May, 2000 were also followed up. It was found that there were 3,177 cases on invasive breast cancer including 1,727 among statin users. "In summary, the results of this study suggest that the beneficial effect of statins on breast cancer observed in experimental studies may not be applicable to humans. We also found no associations of general lipid-lowering drugs and serum cholesterol levels with breast cancer risk. Further study is warranted to evaluate the associations of longer durations of statin use and specific types of statins with breast cancer risk," the authors conclude.