New Study Shows A Common Medication Could Reduce Breast Cancer Mortality Rates – Health Digest
A 2023 study in JAMA Network Open followed more than 13,000 women with invasive breast cancer. Women who started taking prescription statins to lower cholesterol after their initial breast cancer diagnosis had a lower likelihood of dying from their cancer. The reduction in risk was more notable when their cholesterol levels also went down, and those on a stronger statin prescription experienced a more significant risk reduction. However, if cholesterol levels didn’t decrease after taking statins, the risk of mortality didn’t decrease. In simpler terms, the statins alone weren’t solely responsible for the risk reduction.
Statins were more beneficial when the breast cancer was estrogen receptor-positive and localized, meaning it hadn’t spread extensively. However, statins didn’t show the same benefit in more aggressive types of breast cancer or cases where the cancer had spread. Using statins before a breast cancer diagnosis wasn’t associated with better outcomes and might even suggest overall poor health.