Can Hair Loss Treatment Propecia Prevent Prostate Cancer?

by Staff Writer

Yahoo News reports that the drug finasteride, which is used in hair loss treatment Propecia, may play a role in preventing prostate cancer.

Finasteride was originally sold as Proscar by Merck and Co. and was used to treat prostate enlargement. Finasteride, which affects male hormones, was also found to be an effective treatment for hair loss and was eventually developed into a commercial product for hair loss sufferers. Merck and Co. currently sells finasteride as Propecia, specifically for hair loss.

A study in 2003 found that finasteride could reduce the risk for prostate cancer by approximately 25 percent. A new analysis of the research data, however, has shown that the rate of success is actually 30 percent.

The 2003 study also showed that men taking finasteride who still developed prostate cancer were prone to higher grade cancers, which spread more quickly than other, lower grades. In the reanalysis, researchers determined that finasteride was not responsible for the development of any cancers or tumors.

Best of all, the cases in which finasteride prevented cancers “were ‘clinically significant’ in that they were the same type that currently are treated with radiation and surgical removal of the prostrate gland.”

The study was led by Dr. Ian Thompson of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio. He stated that

“Conceivably, every man when he turns 55, if prostate cancer is of concern to him — if he’s having the PSA checked on a regular basis — his doctor probably should at least tell him that he can reduce his risk by about 30 percent by taking finasteride…”

This is good news for both hair loss sufferers and any men who are at risk for prostate cancer. If either of these health issues are a concern for you, contact your doctor and ask about treatments for hair loss and prostate cancer prevention.

Read the entire article at Yahoo news here

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