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Using statins, long known for their ability to reduce cholesterol in patients, may also help reduce prostate cancer, according to a study presented at the American Urologic Association Annual Meeting in Chicago.
"In recent years, it has been suggested that statin medications may prevent development of cancer. However, until now, there has been limited evidence to support this theory," said Dr Rodney Breau, oncology fellow at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The researchers examined data from 2,447 men aged between 40 and 70 and found that those who did not use statins were three times more likely to develop prostate cancer. A little over twice as many patients who did not use statins had PSA levels over the accepted limits for their age when tested.
Other studies have suggested that statins may mask prostate cancer by lowering the levels showing up on a PSA test, but actual cancer cases detected were also lowered in this study.
Breau was cautious in an interview with HemOnc Today. "In the absence of a randomized controlled trial, statins should not be prescribed for prostate cancer prevention," he said, "However, men who are on statins for other reasons may indeed experience the added benefit of prostate cancer protection."
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