Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Statin Drugs May Cut Cancer Risk

Study: Cancer May Be Rarer in People Taking Statins to Lower Their 'Bad' Cholesterol
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 8, 2008 -- People taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may be less likely to develop cancer.

Researchers report that news in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Theirs is the latest in a series of studies on statins and cancer prevention.

"Several laboratory studies have shown that statins may inhibit cancer cell progression, although results from population studies have been mixed," write the researchers, who included Wildon Farwell, MD, MPH, of the VA Boston Healthcare System.

Farwell's team studied some 62,800 veterans in New England.

The group included more than 37,000 veterans taking statin drugs, which lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and more than 25,000 taking drugs for high blood pressure but not taking statins. The veterans were 66 years old, on average; most were men.

The veterans were followed for five years, on average. During that time, 9% of those taking statins were diagnosed with cancer, compared with 13% of those not taking statins, VA records show.

Lung cancer and colorectal cancer were among the cancers that were rarer in statin users. Nonmelanoma skin cancer wasn't included in the results.

Other factors -- including age, history of smoking, and heart disease -- didn't affect the findings. But the data don't include information on the veterans' diet, exercise, and amount of alcohol and tobacco use.

The researchers call for further studies to evaluate statins for cancer prevention.

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Real Cancer Perspectives
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
what is your cancer risk
colorectal cancer treatment advances
breast cancer overview slideshow
prostate cancer overview
lung cancer overview slideshow
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
Actor Michael Douglas