Statin Drugs May Reduce the Risk of Death Due to Cancer
November 12, 2012 by Robert Wascher
Filed under A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, Atherosclerosis, Cancer, Cancer Death, Cancer Prevention, LDL, Lipids, Risk of Death, Statin Drugs, Statins, Weekly Health Update, cancer risk, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, death, heart attack, heart disease, lifestyle, mortality, myocardial infarction, premature death, survival
A new study suggests that cholesterol lowering statin drugs may reduce the risk of dying of cancer.
STATIN DRUGS MAY REDUCE THE RISK OF DEATH DUE TO CANCER
As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, cholesterol-reducing statin drugs can significantly reduce the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease in people with high cholesterol levels, and may also reduce the risk of cancer-related death. However, the potential role of statins in preventing cancer, and cancer-associated death, remains unclear at this time, as much of the research evidence in this area, to date, has been contradictory. At the same time, some of the known biological actions of statin drugs could conceivably play a role in reducing the risk of cancer, and reducing death rates due to cancer, through their anti-inflammatory and cholesterol reducing effects.
Now, a newly published Danish public health study, which appears in the current issue of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, strongly suggests that the use of statin drugs may significantly decrease the risk of death due to cancer. In this study, the medical records of all Danish citizens diagnosed with cancer between 1995 and 2007 were reviewed. Altogether, clinical data was available for a whopping 295,025 patients diagnosed with cancer over this 12-year period.
When the authors of this study looked at death rates due to all causes, the use of varying daily doses of statin drugs reduced the risk of death from any cause by 13 to 18 percent, when compared to death rates among patients who did not take statins. At the same time, varying daily statin doses were also observed to reduce cancer-associated death rates by 13 to 17 percent, when compared to patients who did not take statin drugs.
In summary, the findings of this enormous public health study suggest that statin drugs may significantly decrease not only the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, but also the risk of dying from cancer as well. Fortunately, there are more than a dozen randomized prospective clinical research trials underway at this time that are evaluating the appropriate role of statin drugs in the management of multiple types of cancer.
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Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity
Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author
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