Statins slash risk of breast can­cer

Sunday Times - - WORLD - © The Daily Tele­graph, Lon­don —

TAK­ING statins can nearly halve the chances of death from breast can­cer, a ma­jor new Bri­tish study sug­gests. Sci­en­tists said the choles­terol­low­er­ing drug could be­come stan­dard treat­ment against the dis­ease, af­ter cer­tain types ap­peared to re­duce mor­tal­ity by 43%.

About six mil­lion Bri­tons are reg­u­larly pre­scribed statins, prin­ci­pally to lower the lev­els of “bad” choles­terol and to re­duce the risk of death from car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease or stroke.

An anal­y­sis of seven pre­vi­ous stud­ies found a sig­nif­i­cant link be­tween the drugs and im­proved mor­tal­ity. Pre­vi­ous re­search has found that some tu­mours can pro­duce a mol­e­cule made from choles­terol, which mim­ics oe­stro­gen and en­cour­ages tu­mours to grow.

Roughly one in eight women will de­velop breast can­cer, ac­cord­ing to Can­cer Re­search UK, with 86% sur­viv­ing five years af­ter di­ag­no­sis.

The re­search, pre­sented at the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Clin­i­cal On­col­ogy meet­ing in Chicago, found that across 197 048 women stud­ied, statins re­duced risk of death from breast can­cer by 27% and from death by any cause by 28%. The best ben­e­fit came from lipophilic statins, which re­duced the risk of breast can­cer by 43%.

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