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Study Finds Statins Don’t Lower Melanoma Risk


Written by Alyssa Moody

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) — A new study has found that despite previous indications that people taking statins may have a reduced risk of developing melanoma, the cholesterol-lowering drugs actually do nothing to prevent skin cancer.

A team of researchers from of the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit concluded that statins have no identifiable impact on reducing melanoma risk. This after analyzing data acquired through the Women’s Health Initiative, which surveyed nearly 120,000 women for over a decade.

Researchers say the results did not vary regardless of what type of statin the patients took or the duration they took it.

The findings are published in the journal “Cancer”. They note that although taking statins won’t help decrease the risk of melanoma, further research should be done to determine whether they could be used as a potential therapy for treating skin cancer after it’s been diagnosed.

Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, Co-Director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery says, “To reduce overall melanoma risk, we want to stay out of the sun between 10 and 2, use a broad spectrum sunscreen everyday and reduce or completely eliminate tanning salon use.”

Risk factors for skin cancer include exposure to UV radiation from sunlight or indoor tanning beds, fair skin that often burns, moles or other types of birthmark, smoking, and a family history of melanoma.

Dr. Tanzi adds, “As a dermatologist I never felt that being on a statin or a cholesterol lowering drug could help fight melanoma and this study conclusively shows that there is no reduced risk of getting melanoma while being on a statin.”