"This provides additional reason to believe that statins are safe and very effective at reducing heart disease and stroke," he said. The same things that help reduce risk of heart disease will also lower risk for many cancers, he said. "Avoid smoking, eat a healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and whole grains, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight," Goff said.
Dr. Nicholas Mitsiades, a professor of medicine, hematology and oncology in the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said that not only do statins not increase cancer risk, but there is some very preliminary evidence that they may help treat or prevent certain cancers such as prostate cancer.
"Most of the studies are reassuring that you should not be concerned about risk of cancer for people who received statins for the proper indications," he said. "If you have an indication for statins because of high cholesterol and cardiovascular risk, and have a received a prescription from your doctor to take statins, you can take them without fear of increasing your risk of cancer."
For more about high cholesterol and its treatment, visit the National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: David C Goff , M.D., Ph.D., department chair, department of epidemiology & prevention, division of public health sciences, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Stanley Rockson, M.D., cardiologist, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.; Nicholas Mitsiades, M.D., professor, medicine, hematology and oncology, Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas; July 15, 2011, Journal of the American College of Cardiology
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