Statins May Increase Survival Rate in Breast Cancer Patients

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TORONTO – A medicine typically used to treat high cholesterol can be very helpful in fighting breast cancer. According to recent research, cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins may increase survival rates in breast cancer patients.

Breast cancer is diagnosed in more than 330,000 women in the United States each year, and it kills 42,000 each year. Statins are antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and have been used by women undergoing chemotherapy to reduce the risk of heart failure half.

“Two types of cancer drugs, anthracyclines and trastuzumab, are effective treatments for many women with breast cancer. These drugs are essential for killing breast cancer cells, however the risk of damage to the heart muscle has limited their use, especially in women who are at a higher risk of heart problems due to their age or other problems. medical, ”explains Professor Husam Abdel-Qadir. , cardiologist at the University of Toronto, in a declaration.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, more than 2,000 Canadians in their 60s and 60s were diagnosed in the early stages of the disease between 2007 and 2017. Each patient who was already on statins was matched with a peer who was not, with a variety of medical and social factors in common. Of these, 1,332 women were treated with anthracyclines, while 780 received trastuzumab.

Each group of patients was monitored for signs of heart failure, such as hospitalizations and / or emergency room visits for five years after starting chemotherapy. None had previously been diagnosed with the disease. The results indicated that patients who received anthracyclines as well as statins were 55 percent less likely to develop heart failure. Patients prescribed trastuzumab along with statins were 54% less likely to develop the disease.

“Our results support the idea that statins may be a potential intervention to prevent heart failure in patients receiving chemotherapy with anthracyclines and potentially trastuzumab,” explains Prof. Husam Abdel-Qadir.

The results may not apply to younger women or those at low cardiovascular risk who do not respond to current indications for a statin. Researchers cannot confirm take statins prevents heart failure in patients with breast cancer. However, earlier, smaller studies have suggested that women taking statins may have less damage to the heart muscle from these types of drugs. chemotherapy.

“This study does not conclusively prove that statins are protective, however, this study builds on the body of evidence suggesting that they may have benefits. women with breast cancer who meet the established indications for taking a statin, they should ideally continue to take it throughout their chemotherapy treatment. Women who have no indication for a statin should ask their healthcare team if they can participate in a clinical trial studying the benefits of statins in protecting against damage to the heart muscle during chemotherapy. Otherwise, they should focus on measures to optimize their cardiovascular health before, during and after chemotherapy, ”explains Prof. Husam Abdel-Qadir.

SWNS reporter Mark Waghorn contributed to this report.

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