May 9 (UPI) -- Statin drugs have always been good for the heart, but new research shows they may also be a new weapon in the fight against cancer.
People who used statins before receiving a colorectal cancer diagnosis had an 18 percent lower risk of dying from cancer, according to a study published Thursday in Cancer Medicine. Those who took statins before diagnosis also had a 15 percent reduced risk of dying from any other cause.
"The beneficial effects of statins on colorectal cancer prognosis could be attributed to both its cancer prevention effects and its potential role on cancer adjuvant therapy," the authors wrote.
Additionally, people who took statins after a colorectal cancer diagnosis had a 21 percent lower risk for cancer death, as well as a 14 percent lower risk of dying from any cause.
Other studies have shown that aspirin has a similar effect as statins, but also carry bleeding complications.
The National Cancer Institutes estimates 145,600 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed this year.
"Considering that statins are low-costed and wildly-used agents worldwide, we believe our updated meta-analysis can provide new insights into optimizing adjuvant treatment of colorectal cancer," the authors wrote.