Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Express and statins (cont.)

On Thursday, the Express front page claimed 'Statins slash cancer risk':


The paper refers to 'statins' as a 'wonder pill'. On 20 January their front page also reported that 'statins beat cancer' as did a story from 14 September. A couple of weeks ago, statins could 'prevent blindness'. On 4 April they published 'wildly exaggerated' claims that statins could 'halt Alzheimer's'.

Along side all this coverage, the paper has also reported some less positive stories:


The paper has reported on statins causing rashes, raising the risk of diabetes, and causing cataracts, liver damage and kidney failure. As recently as 27 August, the paper mentioned the:

potentially dangerous side-effects of statins.

Some 'wonder pill'.

Thursday's story tells us:

Powerful statins taken to slash the risk of heart disease and stroke are also a potent cancer-buster, new research has found.

The research actually focused specifically on liver cancer and did find:

This meta-analysis suggests a favorable effect of statins on HCC, in the absence, however, of a duration-risk relationship.

However, the final paragraphs of the Express' article were, as usual, telling:

Dr Safia Danovi, Cancer Research UK’s senior science information officer, said: “This is interesting work but it doesn’t mean that cancer patients should start reaching for cholesterol-lowering drugs.

“Scientists, including our own, are asking whether statins could be used to treat cancer but we’re still a long way from a clear answer.”

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