Saturday, November 13, 2010

Statins, Long-Term Use Unlikely To Increase Cancer Risk

Long-term use of statins is unlikely to substantially increase or decrease overall cancer risk, according to study results presented at the Ninth Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held Nov. 7-10 in Philadelphia.

Statins are a class of drugs commonly used to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Statin (generic name) Brand name(s)
Atorvastatin Lipitor, Torvast
Cerivastatin Lipobay, Baycol
Fluvastatin Lescol
Lovastatin Mevacor, Altocor
Pitavastatin Livalo, Pitava
Pravastatin Pravachol, Selektine, Lipostat
Rosuvastatin Crestor
Simvastatin Zocor, Lipex

While study results to date have shown that short-term use of statins has little effect on risk of developing cancer, not much is known about long-term statin use and incidence of many cancers.

Eric J. Jacobs, strategic director of pharmacoepidemiology at the American Cancer Society, and colleagues examined the association between use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, predominantly statins, and the incidence of the 10 most common cancers, as well as overall cancer incidence.

The study included 133,255 participants in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort over a period of about 10 years. During this time frame, more than 15,000 participants were diagnosed with cancer.

Using cholesterol-lowering drugs for five years or longer was not associated with overall cancer incidence, or incidence of bladder, breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, prostate, or renal cell cancer, but was associated with lower risk of melanoma, endometrial cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

"The lower risk of endometrial cancer and melanoma among long-term users has not been seen in most previous studies and was surprising," Jacobs said. "The lower risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma among statin users has been seen in some, but not all, previous studies."

Common sense tells you that you should not rely on just statins to lower your cholesterol.

Yes, lifestyle changes can help reduce cholesterol, enhance the effect of your medications and may even keep you off cholesterol-lowering medications.

Here are the top five lifestyle changes to get you started.

1. Lose weight

2. Eat heart-healthy foods

3. Exercise on most days of the week

4. Quit smoking

5. Drink alcohol only in moderation

CLICK HERE for further guidance on these lifestyle changes from Mayo Clinic

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In the meantime you should consider these two oral supplements: CoQ10 and Omega-3

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