Statins double breast cancer in women

New research shows women who take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs for 10 years or more have a much higher breast cancer risk than those who never take the blockbuster drugs. This finding certainly comes as a shock. But not as a surprise. The clues have been there for a long time…

Big pharma tries to justify statins because they reduce blood cholesterol levels. (Statins do achieve that result.) However, big pharma built a house of cards based on that one real finding.

Over the years, big pharma has made two big claims about statins. For one, they say taking their cholesterol-reducing drugs will benefit your heart. Second, they claim the drugs’ supposed benefits outweighs the drugs’ risks, which seem to mount almost weekly.

But I never bought into these claims…

Harvard researchers presented their findings from human clinical studies on cholesterol to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 30 years ago. I know because I was there. But apparently not enough of the government science bureaucrats paid attention.

The Harvard researchers found no connection between dietary cholesterol (cholesterol in the foods you eat) and blood cholesterol (the amount of cholesterol found in your blood). Furthermore, data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey–available to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the time–linked lower cholesterol levels with higher overall mortality levels.

So there was never any reason to avoid healthy foods naturally high in cholesterol, such as eggs, meat and shellfish. (This year, the government finally admitted it was wrong all along about these healthy foods.)

Plus, studies in primates at the Philadelphia Zoo more than 30 years ago also showed no connection between blood cholesterol levels and heart disease. In other words, cholesterol level in the blood has no impact on heart disease. But at the time, only the vets had this data. (Again, I knew because I was there. I took classes at the vet school.)

I was so impressed with the vets’ knowledge, I asked the Penn medical school to organize a course on veterinary pathology. I knew we would never have the same kind of experimental data in humans (for ethical reasons) as what the vets gathered in animal models. Actually, we probably wouldn’t be able to replicate those old experiments in animals today either–for valid ethical reasons.

But the experiments were done 30 years ago, nonetheless. They are part of medical history. Yet we forget and ignore them at our peril.

To Penn’s everlasting credit, they did create that course in veterinary pathology for medical students. Unfortunately, not enough of our nation’s future leading physicians took the trouble to learn anything about vet pathology. Apparently, they’d rather look at studies that rehash old data and manipulate statistics.

These newer statistical studies ignore the fact that every cell in the body needs cholesterol.

So how does breast cancer come into play?

My late colleague Dr. Arthur Schatzkin at NCI actually observed an association between low cholesterol and higher breast cancer rates in women…yes…30 years ago. However, our political bosses “encouraged” him to study the more politically correct connections between alcohol, smoking, and breast cancer instead.

But Dr. Schatzkin was on to something big…

The new study I mentioned earlier found a strong link between long-term statin use and breast cancer risk among women. For this study, researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle analyzed data on 916 women with invasive ductal breast cancer (IDC) and 1,068 women with invasive lobular breast cancer (ILC). They matched these women with 902 control participants without breast cancer.

Current users of statin drugs had a 1.8 times increased risk of IDC and a 2.0 times increased risk of ILC breast cancer compared to women who never used statins.

Plus, among women diagnosed with “high cholesterol,” statin users had more than double the risk of IDC and ILC breast cancer compared to women who never used statins.

Astoundingly, the Seattle researchers discounted their own data! They argue test tube studies theoretically show statins have “anti-cancer” effects. (Perhaps the drugs poison the cancer cells just as they poison the metabolism of normal cells.)

But I trust that new data.

First of all, this study isn’t the first to find a link between statins and breast cancer. Other recent studies show 10 to 30 percent increases in breast cancer risk over just five years of taking statins. It seems to me, all this research simply confirms the protective effect of higher cholesterol against breast cancer that researchers observed 30 years ago.

In addition to the cancer risk, statin drugs don’t even help the vast majority of people who take them to lower their heart disease risk. Plus, the drugs clearly cause Type II diabetes, the leading cause of cardio-metabolic heart disease. (I will present yet another study on that finding later this month.)

They also cause a “gluttony effect”…

You see, men and women who take statins for 10 years or more are heavier and have poorer diets, which are two real risk factors for heart disease. Apparently, when someone takes this tiny, toxic pill, they tend to overindulge rather than do the right things that really do work for heart disease and overall health. Such as following a healthy diet and getting regular, moderate exercise to manage weight.

There are also strong concerns that statins cause eye disease, brain and nervous system disorders, kidney disease, and muscle disorders, including damage to the heart muscle itself.

The mainstream still argues the benefits of statins somehow “outweigh” their risks. Well, we can now add breast cancer to the long list of supposedly “outweighed” risks.

Astoundingly, one-quarter of all U.S. women over the age of 45 years currently take one of the seven statin drugs on the market. But in December 2013, an “expert” panel from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) said that number still isn’t high enough. They issued new cholesterol guidelines, so now millions more American men and women–and up to a billion worldwide–will “qualify” to start taking these poisonous drugs.

I guess it’s a good thing the Seattle group did their research study when they did. Pretty soon, if big pharma has its way, there won’t be anyone left who isn’t already taking these drugs for comparison.

Fortunately, women really can lower their risk of breast cancer and improve survival with breast cancer, as I explained in the October 2013, December 2013, and September 2014 issues of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. And we have another update coming in November 2015. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started.


  1. “Long-term statin use and risk of ductal and lobular breast cancer among women 55 to 74 years of age,” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Sep;22(9):1529-37