September 2, 2019 – Liver Cancer and Statins
Anchor lead: Some statins seem to reduce the risk of liver cancer, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Statin medications that dissolve easily in fats may lower the chance that people who are at risk for liver cancer develop the disease, a recent study found. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says in this case, there really may be something to it.
Nelson: There have been a series of reports for a very long period of time that people who consume statins appear to have a lower risk for almost every cancer you can name. Most of that doesn’t come out in the wash, if you will, and I think the reason for that is that people who took statins tended to be people who had better so-called health seeking behaviors. They were more likely to get screened and diagnosed with a cancer, they were more likely to have their blood pressure controlled, they’re more likely to have weight control. The reason this is interesting is that simple critique isn’t fully applicable to this analysis. :29
Nelson notes that the reason people take statins is to lower their risk for cardiovascular disease, not cancer, and that isn’t changed by this study. He says hepatitis B and C infections placed people in this study at risk for liver cancer, and those can largely be prevented and/or treated. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.