Statins may help reduce risk of getting an aggressive form of prostate cancer
MEN who are on statins - drugs used to lower blood cholesterol - may have a reduced risk of developing a more lethal form of prostate cancer, new Irish research has revealed.
Previous studies have suggested statins could play a part in slowing down the growth of different types of cancers. This research, led by Queen's University Belfast and Trinity College Dublin, specifically looked at ways statins might affect prostate cancer.
It discovered there were no differences in the overall rates of prostate cancer among men who were prescribed statins.
However, men who had taken statin medicines had a 24pc reduced risk of developing a more lethal type of prostate cancer when compared to men who had not.
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"Some prostate cancers are slow growing and will not affect the man over the course of his lifetime, but others are aggressive and often deadly. By studying a large group of men who had been monitored for 24 years, we were able to see the link between statin use and the prevention of lethal prostate cancer," said lead author Dr Emma Allott, from the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology and the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's University Belfast. "We then looked at tissue samples from some of these men to try and understand why the statin use was having this impact."
The findings, published in 'Clinical Cancer Research', are at an early stage but shed light on statins' role in reducing aggressive prostate cancer.