Statins could reduce risk of bowel cancer to half
Statins, a common drug used to control high cholesterol, is able to reduce the risk of bowel cancer to half, say a research.
The study was conducted recently by a team of doctors at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The doctors observed that the cholesterol-busting pills, which cost as little as 40p a day, reduced the chances of the disease developing by an average of 57 per cent.
The study also said that in the patients with higher doses of the cholesterol-coner, or being on this medicines for not less than five years, the risk decreases by more than 80 per cent.
The observation of this study hints that pills could be a cheap and effective way of easing the cancer burden on the NHS, if further wide scale investigations can confirm the findings.
The researchers emphasized that the numbers involved in their study were small but the findings could be significant when it is a matter of stopping an often fatal illness.
"Statins may have a protective effect against the development of bowel cancer. In our study, they were associated with a significantly reduced incidence of the disease, and greater statin exposure offered more protection,? researchers have been quoted saying in the Daily Mail.
The findings hints towards the possibility that high cholesterol could have an important role in the development of the disease and that taking a daily dose of statins may have a powerful role in prevention. .
Formerly studies have investigated statins' preventive effects in bowel cancer, the results have not reached any conclusion.
The recent finding that are published in the journal BMC Gastroenterology, hints towards much greater benefits than first thought, with laboratory tests indicating the pills hinders the development of polyps, the pre-cancerous growths in the bowel that can lead to tumors.
Dr Kat Arney, of Cancer Research UK, opined that the study offers ?another piece of evidence to add to the pile'.
But she said that there is still no definitive answer on whether the drugs 'have a significant effect on reducing cancer risk'.
To analyze the effect on bowel cancer, the Norwich team conducted this study on 101 cancer patients and another 132 healthy adults. They compared consumption of statin among the two groups to see how it matched up with cancer diagnoses.
The findings exhibited that the patients having used statins at any time in the past were 57 per cent less prone to get a tumor.
The range of the protection bases on how long they had been on the tablets and what dose they took, with those prescribed statins for under two years a third less likely to get bowel cancer than non-statin users.
But patients on this drug for five years or more were 82 per cent less likely to develop tumors.
The study also revealed that standard prescribed dose of 40 milligrams can halve the cancer risk while higher doses reduced this risk by 80 per cent.
British cancer specialists is of the opinion that the findings add to the evidence that statins may have a preventive role and suggest wide scale studies to conform the possible health benefits.
--with inputs from ANI
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