Statins Increase Breast Cancer Survival by 33%

Posted on May 13, 2013 in Research

From Science News:

Breast cancer patients do better on statins 

Cholesterol-lowering drugs might limit the lethality of breast cancer. While these drugs, called statins, can kill breast cancer cells in laboratory tests (SN: 5/5/2012, p. 30), scientists don’t know whether they can prevent the disease in people or help breast cancer patients. Teemu Murtola, a physician and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University and colleagues analyzed records of more than 31,000 women in Finland who received a first-time diagnosis of breast cancer from 1995 to 2003. Among women diagnosed with localized breast cancer, those who began taking statins afterward were one-third as likely to die from the cancer by the end of 2003 as those not getting the drugs, Murtola reported April 7. Among women whose breast cancer had already spread to other organs by the time of diagnosis, those who subsequently took statins were half as likely to die from the cancer as those not getting the drugs. Having taken statins before diagnosis also showed some protection, but mainly for women on a high dose. The most common statin women took was simvastatin (Zocor), followed by atorvastatin (Lipitor). — Nathan Seppa

Notes from Dr. Neubauer

A 33% reduction in cancer mortality is pretty impressive. To put this in context, adjuvant chemotherapy for stage 1-3 breast cancer improves 15-year survival by 2.7 to 9%. 

The statin study is not a randomized trial, so further research is needed before this becomes standard of care.

If you are taking a statin, talk with your naturopathic doctor about adding CoQ10. Statins block the liver’s ability to make it’s own CoQ10. CoQ10 supports cardiovascular health, energy function, and cell repair.