The pharmaceutical industry is desperate to find ways of justifying the use of statins and the most recent attempt relates to breast cancer. According to press reports, a cardiologist, Rahul Potluri, at Aston University has discovered that women with a high level of cholesterol in their blood also have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. This was based on an analysis of data collected from over 600,000 women in the UK. Dr Potluri suggests that this may lead to a clinical trial to see if treatment with statins over a period of 10 to 15 years would reduce the incidence of breast cancer, especially in those with high levels of cholesterol.
While it maybe true that women with breast cancer have higher levels of cholesterol than those who do not, this certainly does not mean that the high cholesterol is the cause of the breast cancer. It is possible that the cancer is causing the high cholesterol or maybe there is some other common factor which has an effect on both the incidence of the breast cancer and the blood cholesterol. There may be no link whatsoever and it is purely coincidence that explains the findings.
Secondly, even if there is some type of relationship, reducing the cholesterol level does not necessarily prevent breast cancer developing. Although it is claimed that statins are beneficial to patients with heart disease because they lower the blood cholesterol, some researchers argue that the effect is due to a reduction in inflammation and that the cholesterol lowering is irrelevant.
Thirdly, it has been established that in women, those with the highest cholesterol values have the greatest life expectancy (1). This means that there is absolutely no reason why any woman with a high cholesterol value would wish to lower it. If we assume that the level of cholesterol is a critical factor which influences the incidence of various diseases and ultimately a person’s life expectancy then there can be no possible justification for any procedure which would effectively increase the risk of dying. I can only speculate that those who continue to push the case for the use of statins in women are unaware of this crucial information or perhaps they just choose to ignore it. It is also worth pointing out that there is absolutely no credible evidence which confirms that statins are beneficial for women, even in those who suffer from heart disease.
Although this story has had substantial coverage in the press it is quite fascinating to note some of the comments from readers. Here are some examples:
- Another ploy to sell statins. Do the drug companies pay these scientists to issue such B/S., I bet they do. Statins are dangerous, the evidence is overwhelming.
- Good grief, they really are desperate to sell these things aren’t they? All they are doing is revealing how much political power that pharmaceutical companies now wield
- Statins are becoming these wonder drugs that will cure your every illness, that now includes breast cancer. Total hogwash. The only thing that statins are good for is making huge profits for the pharmaceutical companies
- The creation and research of statins has cost hundreds of millions. The pharma companies are now trying to maximise profits by “proving” that they are good and do help. Remember a few months back the article about how statins don’t help that much? It was shut down in days as the pharma companies have too much to lose. In fact there were hundreds of studies showing statins do nothing other than harm yet the handful of studies that were anomalous got through and are touted as the truth.
- Gave up on Statins 4 years ago, best thing I’ve ever done.
SOURCE: Daily Mail
- Doling out statins to all and sundry is irresponsible medicine. Statins are a very dangerous medication that should be avoided if at all possible, and it usually is. Do yourself a favour: Tell your doctor to shove them where the monkey shoves its nuts, i.e. where the sun don’t shine
- You have to hand it to the pharma industry and the government: statins simply must be taken by as many people as possible!So now it’s breast cancer, something half the population is scared off. Perhaps next month they’ll tell us it prevents Alzheimers?The study hasn’t even got any results yet, but I bet millions of women will now ask their GP to give them statins – result!
- Its breast cancer now, but what about the diabetes the knackered liver and the knackered kidneys that they cause
- These drugs have the effect of rendering one stupid, brain function is dependent upon cholesterol
Reduce people to simpletons, then sell them the drugs to offset the dementia that the statins bring on, nice work if you can get it.
In summary, the only motive here is money, the effects are irrelevant to the producers.
SOURCE: Daily Telegraph
- This is not about our health just the massive profits of Big Pharma. They don’t really care if we end up with muscle weakness, leg cramps and depression. Been there, done that and threw the ruddy pills on the fire
- Blah, blah, blah. Good grief! Guardian are you so desperate to fill space that you must keep encouraging this kind of pseudo-scientific nonsense drip-fed by big pharma and their tame “scientists”?
- Why is the Guardian littering its website with press releases that promote the use of an already over-prescribed drug? Word’s like ‘could’ and ‘suggest’ smack of PR
SOURCE: The Guardian
So it seems there are plenty of individuals who have an appreciation of the way in which the drug companies continue to push their products. While it is certainly helpful to have these comments, it is regrettable that the journalists who write the articles accept the information at face value. In doing so they are playing into the hands of the drug companies which must be to the detriment of their readers. It really is time for those reporting on issues of this type to adopt a much more critical and sceptical approach than is evident at present.