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  • Do statins increase cancer? Yes, according to three doctors

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Tuesday, March 27, 2018 10:38 am Email this article

    Do statins increase cancer?

    Yes, according to a letter published in Current Oncology.

    The letter starts out by saying “prospective data suggest that statins actually increase cancer in certain segments of the population.”

    Here are other quotes from the letter.

    Higher LDL associated with lower cancer risk

    “large randomized statin trials demonstrate a highly significant (p = 0.009) inverse association between achieved low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and cancer” [i.e., higher LDL is associated with lower risk of cancer]”

    The elderly, people with breast cancer and people with prostate cancer at increased risk when given statins

    “specific populations at risk for the development of incident cancer with statin treatment” include “the elderly and people with a history of breast or prostate cancer”

    Statins may worsen cancer in people on immunotherapy

    “statin-treated individuals undergoing immunotherapy for cancer may be at increased risk for worsening cancer”

    Older people given a statin had MORE cancer

    “In the PROSPER trial, a 3.2-year prospective study of pravastatin for cardiovascular disease prevention in the elderly (mean age at trial entry: 75 years) at high risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer incidence was significantly increased in subjects randomized to pravastatin.”

    “the increase in cancer mortality equalled in magnitude the decrease in cardiovascular disease mortality in the statin-treated patients, leaving all-cause mortality unchanged”

    LIPID trial showed increased cancer in older people

    “post hoc analysis of the LIPID study, a 6-year prospective trial of pravastatin in individuals with cardiovascular disease, revealed a significant increase in cancer incidence in the elderly subjects (age: 65–75 years) randomized to pravastatin.”

    High dose statin increased cancer deaths

    “In a secondary analysis of the TNT study, elderly subjects randomized to high-dose atorvastatin (80 mg daily) versus low-dose atorvastatin (10 mg daily) demonstrated a trend toward increased death, largely from an increase in cancer mortality.

    ‘Alarming increase in breast cancer incidence’ in women given a statin

    An alarming increase in breast cancer incidence, some of which were recurrences, was seen in women randomized to pravastatin in the CARE trial.”

    Drug companies now exclude people with cancer from statin trials (to hide the truth)

    “Thereafter, cancer was an exclusion criterion in randomized statin trials.”
    [The drug companies are trying to hide the truth by doing this.]

    There is an association between statins and the recurrence of breast cancer

    “In clinical practice, however, it is not infrequent to find an association between recurrence of breast cancer and concurrent statin therapy.”

    Statin shown to increase prostate cancer

    “Long-term follow-up (10 years after trial completion) of WOSCOPS, a 5-year prospective trial of pravastatin in hypercholesterolemic men, revealed an increase in prostate cancer in the men who were randomized to pravastatin therapy.”

    Statins associated with tumor progression in bladder cancer

    Statin therapy has been associated with tumour progression leading to radical cystectomy in patients treated for bladder cancer with bacille Calmette–Guérin immunotherapy.”

    Conclusion: There is ample evidence to suggest statins increase cancer

    “In conclusion, we feel that there is ample evidence that statins may promote cancer in certain segments of the population.

    “Maybe it is time for a new paradigm that also includes age extremes, prevalent cancer, a past history of cancer, and overall immunocompetence.”


    Goldstein MR, Mascitelli L, and Pezzetta F. Do statins prevent or promote cancer? Curr Oncol, 2008 Apr; 15(2): 76-77.

    Author’s Contact Info

    Mark R. Goldstein MD FACP
    Medical Director, Fountain Medical Court
    9410 Fountain Medical Court, Suite A-200
    Bonita Springs, Florida 34135 USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Luca Mascitelli MD
    Comndo Brigata Alpina “Julia”,
    Servizio Sanitario
    8 Via S. Agostino,
    Udine 33100 Italy
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Francesca Pezzetta MD
    Cardiology Service Ospedale di Tolmezzo
    Tolmezzo 33028 Italy
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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