Hi, I posted here a while back regarding my high cholesterol. Two years ago, when I was dx, my LDL was 215 and total cholesterol was 340. I tried very hard with diet change and exercise, and took 20mg Pravachol per day. After 6 months, it was down to 170-180. And that was about the best numbers I could get to back then.
A year ago, I started feeling ill. I stopped statin and exercise. Yet a few months after I stopped the statin, I found out in surprise that my LDL was further dropped to 150-160 rather than bouncing back up. Two months after that lipid panel, I was diagnosed with rectal cancer.
After treatment completes, my doctor puts me back on statin. Within only one month, my LDL dropped from 150s to 50. Everything I read associates low cholesterol with higher cancer risk or undiagnosed cancer. Has anyone without cancer problem experienced similar sudden hyper-response to statin drugs? Please do let me know... I really need some help to stay positive.
Bottom line, statin use is linked to a greater survivability rate when started before a cancer is diagnosed. This goes for ALL cancers. Also, studies have proven that there is no link between statin use and the incidence of new cancers, just an myth spread by the anti-statin crowd.
Thank you both for the info & links. This is much debated area - but after discussing with a few different doctors, I had stopped taking statin and just focused on trying to eat a healthy diet.
My recent CT scan was clear of metastatic disease. I do have persistent pelvic/abd pain, abnormal bleeding, thickened endo stripe. I will get an endometrial biopsy this week to r/o second primary. Cancer doesn't scare me anymore as long as I can be assured that it's in early stage, which my scans at Stanford already did.
One of the various reasons why statins is linked to cancer is that cholesterol is the precusor to vitamin D. John Hopkins Colon Cancer Center has an article on Vitamin D & Colorectal Cancer. A small excerpt...
"After following the vitamin D status of 16,818 participants for 12 years, researchers determined that vitamin D exhibited a strong protective effect against colorectal cancer, with levels of 32 ng/ml or higher having a 72% risk reduction on colorectal cancer mortality."
1) I think a lot of those studies were sponsored by big pharma companies, and are not prospective cohort studies;
2) I believe what Red Star and I are concerned about are the abnormally hyper response to statin. In my case, the drop in LDL is so drastic in so short a period that if I don't stop the med, I might dip into the critical zone (I believe LDL under 25 needs to be hospitalized).
3) I think it is reasonable to be cautious about abnormally low LDLs, because it is linked to low Vit D, and could also be a symptom of undiagnosed cancer or pre-cancerous lesion from my experience.
4) I agree that it is ideal to keep Vit D level above 30, but in my case, I could never get it above 15. So my GI, Gyn, and Onco had all agreed that lifetime close surveillance is the key for me. I've known people with similar presentations as mine who has beaten various cancers more than 5 times due to vigilant surveillance, strict diet and exercise.
Actually, these are not studies, they are meta-analysis of many, many studies in which the experience of over 50,000 participants were looked at. What they are looking at is the follow up data from all those participated.
Some were small individual studies, but why does sponsorship matter? All studies are manager by a Data Safety Management Board as assigned by the NIH as overseen by the FDA. It is the DSMB that is charged with managing the integrity of the data. I can give you many cases where the DSMB stopped a study because the data was not reliable.
Many people are quick to accuse the drug companies of "buying" results, but don't you think it's odd that after all these years no one has proven the first case? Do you realize the number of people that would be required for such a cover up?
I applaud the fact that you did your research and got input from your doctor. That is the only way to make a decision that works for you, but it is dangerous to look at all the data available and tossing it aside because a drug company is involved.
I got a call from my gyn yesterday. My pap smear showed CIN 1, my TVUS showed thickened endo stripe, abnormal doppler blood flow in my left ovary, and free fluid in pelvic cul-de-sac. She needs me to come in tomorrow for more biopsy. So at least for me, there is for sure pre-cancerous process going on. We just don't know to what extent. I am sure even if my biopsies show endometrial cancer, or ovarian cancer, or cervical cancer, it's still early stage and curable. It is just difficult emotionally to go through all of these, esp. when my hubby and I are still TTC.
I have friends working in phama companies and FDAs who told me majority of publicly available studies are sponsored and not to blindly rely on results. I think they have more insights in the industry. Anyway, I'm just trying to survive and do not intend to incite or partake in any arguments.
I do want to warn people from this board that, twice from my experience, when LDL suddenly dropped significantly, pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions were subsequently diagnosed. Maybe it's just my body that reacts this way, but maybe cancer does feed on cholesterols. Maintain a normal (neither too high or too low) cholesterol level will protect against cancer.
Thanks for your thoughts, but I too am very involved in the process and understand fully how these studies work. Who else is going to fund studies to get their products on the market in not the maker? I am deeply involved in these studies and I know how skeptical the public is.
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