The reports state that it cuts the potential of developing prostate cancer by 25%. It will have some side effects, those that normally come along with aging, such as lack of interest in sex. One pill a day is the dose.
The drug works by curbing testosterone and is currently being used for urinary problem. What is interesting too is that at a lower dose the drug is sold as Propecia, a treatment for baldness, so I guess that could be a positive side effect if one were also going bald. The one bad item was for those who did have a return of cancer in the study, it returned as more aggressive than normal in one study, but that was counter set by another opinion that the tumors were easier to locate as the prostate gland was smaller after being on the medication. In short, it appears there is some relief with drug therapy than can reduce the possibility of a recurrence with prostate cancer. BD
The advice stops short of saying men should take the drug finasteride, sold in generic form and as Proscar. It has risks and benefits each man must weigh, they say.
That's bound to be confusing, doctors admit.
The drug can cut the odds of being diagnosed with prostate cancer by about 25 percent. Earlier worries that it might spur aggressive tumors have largely faded with further study, making doctors more willing to recommend it now.
"If a man is interested enough in being screened, then at least he ought to have the benefits of a discussion" about taking the drug, said Dr. Barnett Kramer, a National Institutes of Health scientist and one of the authors of the new guidelines.
They were published in two medical journals and discussed in a news briefing Tuesday in connection with a cancer conference in Florida. They were written by doctors with American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Urological Association.
A similar drug, dutasteride, sold as Avodart, is being tested to see if it, too, prevents prostate cancer. The guideline covers the whole class of drugs but for now, doctors are focused on finasteride.