WASHINGTON - A drug given routinely to women to protect their hearts could also become a tool to prevent breast cancer.
British researchers say there may be a link between high cholesterol and the risk of breast cancer. They say their findings are preliminary and much more study is needed, but hold out the hope that one day cheap, cholesterol-lowering statins could also be used to keep breast cancer at bay.
The researchers looked at the medical records of 664,159 women from across the United Kingdom and found the risk of breast cancer almost doubled among those with abnormally high cholesterol levels.
They say if further research confirms their observational findings, a clinical study of statins as a way to prevent breast cancer would be warranted.
The British study was launched after American studies in mice showed a cholesterol byproduct called 27HC appeared to fuel aggressive breast cancer tumors in lab animals.
The team from the UK presented their findings at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.
© 2014 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.