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“Statins May Reduce Cancer Risk”

About 40 million US adults take statins to lower their cholesterol levels and reduce their risk of heart disease. But, these drugs may come with an added beneficial effect: protection against cancer. Lipophilic statins include cerivastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin, and fluvastatin, while hydrophilic statins include atorvastatin, pravastatin, and rosuvastatin. Although initial animal studies indicated that statins might increase the risk of cancer, current research is showing the opposite. In a large systematic review and meta-analysis, for example, researchers showed that patients who took statins before their cancer diagnosis had a 21% lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 31% lower risk of cancer-specific mortality. While researchers haven’t found that statins reduce the incidence of most types of cancer, statins do appear to prevent recurrence and increase survival in many cancer types. People with colorectal cancer tend to have improved overall survival if they’re already taking statins, researchers found. Interestingly, the researchers showed that statins may work better at protecting against colorectal cancer death than against statins’ usual targets: heart attack and stroke. For instance, taking statins lowered the risk of heart attack by 9% and stroke by 23%, but reduced death from colorectal cancer by nearly 40%. Statin use in patients with breast cancer is associated with 30% improved cancer‐specific survival, 34% improved overall survival, and 36% improved recurrence‐free survival. Taking statins is associated with significantly improved survival in patients with lung cancer,

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