Researchers have found that men who take long-term lipid-lowering medications for controlling their cholesterol have lower rates of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The human body is a miracle of biological engineering, but with such a complex piece of machinery there’s a lot that can go wrong. Prostate cancer is one such problem men face; another is high cholesterol. Yet new research into the effects of taking cholesterol medication have shown that men who are on prescriptions for lipid-lowering meds for 10 years or more have a lessened risk of developing prostate cancer as well.
The benefits are certainly unforeseen, as lipid production and prostate gland operation aren’t seen as tied together in any overt way. Yet the results are in — men who were on statins or similar medications to control their cholesterol saw an average of a 32% reduction in prostate cancer risk, according to a research study published in Cancer Prevention Research.
Welcome News, But Not Entirely Unprecedented
The news that statins could result in a reduction in prostate cancer risk is certainly some very welcome news. Yet this unforeseen benefit isn’t exactly unprecedented — it turns out that this small-scale survey follows on the heels of others that have already noticed the link between cholesterol medication, or at least high levels of bad cholesterol, and prostate health.
The truth is, though, that statins are likely to be prescribed in greater quantities for older men even without a deeper look at the ancillary prostate health benefits. In fact, the US Preventative Services Task Force recently went forward with heartily recommending doctors prescribe such medication to older men to support overall cardiovascular health. With prostate cancer also a concern for older men as well, the potential for better men’s health overall, as a result, is certainly there.
Good News If You Have Bad Cholesterol
What does this mean for the average patient with not-so-great cholesterol numbers? Well that’s obviously not the best, but being prescribed statins to control those numbers at least now gives you a secondary benefit, or at least it’s likely to. More research will be needed to pin down exactly why lipid-lowering medications also result in lower prostate cancer risk, but for now it’s good enough that there’s a strong correlation between the two.