What is it about?

The benefits of statin treatment for preventing cardiac disease are well established. However, preclinical studies suggested that statins may influence mammary cancer growth, but the clinical evidence is still inconsistent. We, therefore, performed an updated meta-analysis to provide a precise estimate of the risk of breast cancer in individuals undergoing statin therapy.

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Why is it important?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and one in every eight women in the US will develop breast cancer. Major causes of breast cancer are not yet fully known, but a number of potential factors have been identified. Common risk factors for developing breast cancer are obesity, a lack of physical exercise, environmental exposure, exposure to chemicals, hormone replacement therapy, a family history, and genes. Recent clinical studies demonstrated that a reduction in downstream products of the mevalonate pathway due to statin use was linked to disrupting critical cellular functions, such as membrane integrity, cell signalling, protein synthesis, and cell cycle progression


Our meta-analysis results suggest that there is no association between statin use and breast cancer risk. However, the available evidence of the impacts of statins and the risk of breast cancer is conflicting and inconsistent. Studies are also needed to clarify any pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the observed association. We recommend careful consideration of the risks and benefits when initiating statin therapy and heightened awareness regarding risk factor for breast cancer.

Md.Mohaimenul Islam
Taipei Medical University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Exploring association between statin use and breast cancer risk: an updated meta-analysis, Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, September 2017, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s00404-017-4533-3.
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