According to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, some statins may help prevent cancer.
Statins are a class of drugs specifically designed to lower cholesterol. The study focused specifically on lipophilic statins, statins which are soluble in fats. Lipophilic statins include atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor), and fluvastatin (Lescol).
Dr. Louise Pilote, of McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and colleagues examined the use of lipophilic statins by more than 30,000 patients who had previously been treated for heart attacks. Out of these 30,000+ patients, 1099 were diagnosed with cancer within 7 years.
The researchers found that patients who received high-doses of lipophilic statins had a 25 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with cancer. Patients who received a low-dose of statins had an 11 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with cancer than the non-statin users in the study.
According to Dr. Pilote's team, additional research is needed to analyze the long term effects statins have on a patient's risk of developing cancer.