Is High Cholesterol Really Linked to Breast Cancer?
High cholesterol is a condition that is often associated with heart and blood vessel disease. However, this condition is also often associated with breast cancer. Is it true that the two are related? Check out the explanation below.
The Relationship Between High Cholesterol and Breast Cancer
A study revealed, someone who has high cholesterol levels can be at risk of breast cancer by up to 64 percent. These results were obtained after the researchers reviewed as many as 660,000 medical records of female patients in Birmingham and Manchester between 2000-2013.
Unfortunately, even though the study has been conducted for approximately 13 years, the scope of this research is still limited. Therefore, further research regarding the link between high cholesterol and breast cancer needs to be done again.
While other research revealed that breast cancer cells will use cholesterol to help them tolerate stress.
Usually, cancer cells will be ‘stressed’ when trying to metastasize or spread. This condition causes some cancer cells to die before they can move and trigger cancer.
However, some types of cancer cells are able to handle stressor the. Nowthe researchers revealed that cholesterol is one of the parts that drive this ability.
Also Read: Don’t Be Too Late, Here Are 4 Ways to Detect Breast Cancer
Causes of High Cholesterol and Other Diseases
Cholesterol is a type of lipid that is similar to fat. Even so, cholesterol is not soluble in water so it cannot flow through the bloodstream in the body.
In order to transport these types of lipids, the body produces lipoproteins, a particle derived from fats and proteins. These lipoproteins carry cholesterol and triglycerides (another type of lipid) through the bloodstream.
Lipoprotein has two forms: low density lipoprotein (LDL) or known as bad cholesterol and high density lipoprotein (HDL) or known as good cholesterol.
If the blood contains high levels of LDL, the risk of various health problems can increase, for example, heart attack and stroke.
The causes of high cholesterol levels vary. However, this condition is often associated with consuming too many foods that contain cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat.
In addition, there are various causes of high cholesterol, including:
- Overweight or obese.
- Have a smoking habit.
- Less active.
- Have a family history of the same condition.
In rare cases, high cholesterol can be caused by familial hypercholesterolemia, this is a genetic disorder that causes the body to have difficulty getting rid of LDL.
Also Read: 15 Foods That Can Help Lower Cholesterol
Tips to Prevent High Cholesterol
The cause of high cholesterol due to genetics will indeed be difficult to avoid. However, you can try to change your lifestyle to be healthier to reduce the risk of this incident.
There are several ways you can do to prevent high cholesterol, including:
1. Implementing a Healthy Diet
Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Consumption of these foods will help meet the body’s fiber needs.
Fiber is able to shed cholesterol from blood vessels so that it can reduce the risk of high cholesterol. Instead, avoid foods high in saturated fat of animal origin, such as cheese and fatty meats.
2. Active Move
Physical activity can help you get to your ideal weight while maintaining it. This habit can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
No need for strenuous exercise, walking every day can also be a way to get you active.
Also Read: 8 Foods That Can Help Prevent Breast Cancer
3. Maintain Ideal Body Weight
Overweight and obesity can trigger an increase in bad cholesterol levels. Therefore, you are advised to maintain an ideal body weight.
The reason is, fat deposits in the body can affect how the body uses cholesterol and reduce the body’s ability to get rid of bad cholesterol.
4. No Smoking and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages
Another way to reduce high cholesterol levels is to avoid bad habits such as consumption of alcoholic beverages and smoking. If you have this habit, you should stop immediately.
- Anonymous. 2014. High Cholesterol May Boost Breast Cancer Risk. https://www.news24.com/health24/news/high-cholesterol-may-boost-breast-cancer-risk-20140707. (Accessed 21 February 2023).
- Anonymous. 2022. Prevent High Cholesterol. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/prevention.htm. (Accessed 21 February 2023).
- Bahl, Ravij. 2021. High Cholesterol Levels May Impact Your Risk of Certain Cancers: What We Know. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/high-cholesterol-levels-may-impact-your-risk-of-certain-cancers-what-we-know. (Accessed 21 February 2023).
- Grey, Heather. 2021. Everything You Need to Know About High Cholesterol. https://www.healthline.com/health/high-cholesterol. (Accessed 21 February 2023).
- Liu, Wen, et al. 2021. Dysregulated Cholesterol Homeostasis Results in Resistance to Ferroptosis Increasing Tumorigenicity and Metastasis in Cancer. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-25354-4. (Accessed 21 February 2023).
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