Hello Mary G,
High cholesterol is a multi-factorial problem, as you may know. Diet, exercise, and family history, and luck all play roles in determining your cholesterol level.
Modifying any of these will lower your cholesterol level (family history and luck you can't modify!). Unfortunately rarely can diet and exercise alone lower your cholesterol to goal levels; this fact is why doctors offer medications like statins quickly.
If you have tried diet and exercise, and you still cannot get your levels down to goal, then likely you will need to be on medication for life.
To your health,