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Statins Guard Against Prostate Cancer
Date:4/26/2009

Other studies found they also reduced chances of erectile dysfunction

SUNDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) --Several new studies suggest statins help prevent prostate cancer and reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction.

"At this point in time, there seems to be mounting evidence that there may be a future role for statins in prostate cancer treatment or prostate cancer prevention," said Dr. Lionel L. Banez, from the Division of Urologic Surgery and Duke Prostate Center at Duke University Medical Center and lead author of one study. "There will definitely be more men taking statins for cardiovascular reasons, and this is a great opportunity for us to see how many of these men develop prostate cancer and whether these prostate cancers are aggressive."

All the reports were to be presented Sunday at the American Urological Association's annual meeting, in Chicago.

One study found that men who were taking statins before undergoing surgical removal of their prostate had a lower risk of having the cancer return. "The use of statins at the time of surgery was associated with a 30 percent reduction in the risk of recurrence of prostate cancer," said lead researcher Dr. Robert J. Hamilton, a urology resident at the University of Toronto Medical Center in Ontario, Canada.

Hamilton thinks that the anti-inflammatory properties of statins may explain the finding. However, it might also be the ability of these drugs to lower cholesterol that has an effect on cancer cells, he said.

Although these results are promising, Hamilton is cautious about recommending that men should take statins to reduce the risk of recurrent prostate cancer. "At this point, we cannot with confidence say that that's true," he stressed.

There are also several unanswered questions, including the optimal dose, the length of time one needs to be taking statins to achieve a benefit, and whether starting statin therapy after surgery wo
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