Lipitor users: Study finds link between breast cancer growth and high cholesterol



If you take Lipitor, then it's time to listen up. New research from professionals at the Duke Cancer Institute have found a link between breast cancer growth and high cholesterol.

If you take Lipitor, then it's time to listen up. New research from professionals at the Duke Cancer Institute have found a link between breast cancer growth and high cholesterol. This finally gives health experts an answer to the question of why postmenopausal women experience reduced risks of breast cancer when making lifestyle changes that improved their cholesterol levels. However, the good news is that anti-cholesterol drugs may be useful in preventing the spread of this disease.

What scientists found
While many doctors are aware of a link between breast cancer and obesity, the reasoning has never been understood until now.

"A lot of studies have shown a connection between obesity and breast cancer, and specially that elevated cholesterol is associated with breast cancer risk, but not mechanism has been identified," Dr. Donald McDonnell, chair of the department of pharmacology and cancer biology at Duke and senior author of the research, told Science Daily. "What we have now found is a molecule - not cholesterol itself, but an abundant metabolite of cholesterol - called 27HC that mimics the hormone estrogen and can independently drive the growth of breast cancer."

In this research, mouse models were used to track the growth of tumor cells when 27HC - a cholesterol metabolite - was introduced. As a result, breast tumor growth flourished, and the cancerous cells spread to different organs within the animals. Additionally, investigators found that these results caused by 27HC were reduced when antiestrogens were added to the picture.

"Human breast tumors, because they express this enzyme to make 27HC, are making an estrogen-like molecule that can promote the growth of the tumor," McDonnell explained to the source. "In essence, the tumors have developed a mechanism to use a different source of fuel."

Based on the collected research, the authors of the study believe that they may be on the track to learning how to easily reduce the risk of breast cancer in patients. When cholesterol levels are healthy, it is likely that chances are lessened. Additionally, a female who has breast cancer and high cholesterol is apt to experience benefits from taking statins. However, further research is required on the subject. McDonnell and his team would like to also move forward with other studies to see if 27HC plays a role in the spread and development of other cancers.

If you are looking to keep your high cholesterol down, buy generic Lipitor and consider the use of statins to reduce your risk of breast cancer.