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Cholesterol Drug Warning

29th October 2008

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may cause prostate cancers to be missed, experts warned.

 

A study found men taking statins experienced a significant drop in blood levels of a prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests.

 

A "healthy" PSA result from a man on statins may mean his prostate cancer goes undetected, said researchers.

 

Studies have suggested statins may protect against prostate cancer or slow the disease.

 

However, just because statins lower PSA it does not necessarily mean they have a biological effect on prostate cancer.

 

PSA is known to be an unreliable indicator.

 

A definitive diagnosis requires a biopsy - removal of a tissue sample for analysis - after an abnormal PSA result.

 

The warning was issued by researchers led by Dr Stephen Freedland from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, New Carolina, US.

 

They wrote in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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