Statins are both against heart disease and cancer

The cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, used by many to protect against heart disease, may also guard against several kinds of cancers.

Already shown to shield against prostate &to=http:// ' target=_blank>cancer, two new studies suggest statins also provide a greater than 50 percent reduction in risk with pancreatic and esophageal cancer, the researchers said.

The studies were to be presented Monday at Digestive Disease Week 2005, in Chicago, reports the Forbes.

According to the Washington Times, the studies on the statin drugs, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology, as well as at a cancer conference in Chicago on Monday, are encouraging, researchers said. Statins are sold under the brand names Lescol, Lipitor, Mevacor, Pravachol, and Zocor.

The studies, based on health information collected by the &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Veterans Administration on more than 1.4 million men and women, suggest that taking statins reduces the risk of five types of cancer -- prostate, pancreas, breast, lung and esophagus.

The risk reductions found were dramatic -- ranging from 48 percent to 59 percent -- and although the studies are not regarded as definite proof of a cancer-fighting effect, many scientists believe there will be increased pressure on doctors to prescribe statins.

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