"Will it help me live longer?" When patients ponder the lifetime commitment to a statin drug, this is the question they ask. But a very public controversy in the scientific community has recently diverted attention from this central question -- and that just might be on purpose.
At present, it is impossible to prove that statins have any effect on the development or spread of cancer. It may take decades for a carcinogenic effect to surface, and by then, a relationship may not be recognized, especially if statins have been discontinued.
Statins are medications that lower cholesterol by inhibiting an enzyme involved in its production by the liver and other organs. First approved by the FDA in 1987, statins are arguably the most widely-prescribed medicine in the industrialized world today.