In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug. Finasteride oral tablet is available as the brand-name drugs Proscar and Propecia. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. The condition that finasteride is used to treat depends on the type of the drug used. Finasteride isn’t prescribed for use in women or children. Finasteride works by decreasing the amount of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your body. The decrease in DHT helps prevent your prostate from growing larger. It also leads to increased hair growth and decreased hair loss of the hair on your head. Hair growth on other parts of the body isn’t affected. A Fred Hutch study has found that the steroid finasteride, long used to treat prostate enlargement and hair loss, can protect men from developing prostate cancer for up to 16 years. Stock photo by Feature Pics A drug used to treat enlarged prostate or hair loss in men has been shown to have a long-term protective effect against prostate cancer. The study, led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center biostatistician Dr. Joe Unger and recently published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, linked data from a large prostate cancer clinical trial conducted by the clinical trial network SWOG with Medicare claims data to determine that the steroid tablet finasteride could protect men from developing the cancer for up to 16 years. The original NCI-funded study, known as the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, set out to determine if finasteride (also known as Proscar or Propecia) could prevent prostate cancer in men ages 55 and older. That study, which came to an end in 2003, found finasteride use for seven years reduced a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer by 25 percent and that the protective benefit lasted through that seven-year period, which is how long the study followed participants. Dawn Hershman of Columbia University Medical Center, and Drs. Unger and his colleagues went back to the PCPT cohort of nearly 19,000 healthy men (half of whom were given finasteride and half whom received a placebo) to see if finasteride offered a longer-term benefit. Scott Ramsey and Catherine Tangen of Fred Hutch, then created an algorithm to flag PCPT participants on Medicare who’d been diagnosed with and/or treated for prostate cancer. Prednisone build muscle Zoloft music Overall prevalence of prostate cancer in finasteride-treated men was reduced by 24.8% from the prevalence normally expected in men of this age and medical condition, indicating that finasteride 5mg Proscar® is effective in preventing or delaying the appearance of prostate cancer. Finasteride suppresses the growth of normal prostate tissue, benign prostate hyperplasia tissue, and low-grade prostate cancer cells, but cannot control aggressive, high-grade cancer, and eventually, if given time, high-grade cancer will emerge. What do we know about Propecia and prostate cancer? Has research that seems to show a possible protective benefit for some men taking Propecia really changed what doctors recommend to men with a high risk of developing prostate cancer? Chemoprevention with finasteride and dutasteride reduces the incidence of prostate cancer, but the evidence is inadequate to determine whether chemoprevention with finasteride or dutasteride reduces mortality from prostate cancer. Magnitude of Effect: Absolute reduction in incidence for more than 7 years with finasteride was 6% (24.4% with placebo and 18.4% with finasteride); relative risk reduction (RRR) for incidence was 24.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 18.6%–30.6%). There was no difference in the number of men dying from prostate cancer in the two groups, though the number of deaths was small. In the dutasteride trial, using the restricted crude rate absolute risk reduction was 5.1% at 4 years, and RRR was 22.8% (95% CI, 15.2%–29.8%; Men in the finasteride group had statistically significantly more erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, and gynecomastia than men in the placebo group. Men in the finasteride group had a statistically significant incidence of high-grade (Gleason sum 8–10) cancers during the study. Magnitude of Effect: Statistically significant increases in the following outcomes were observed in the finasteride group (a greater fraction of men in the finasteride group [36.8%] temporarily discontinued treatment at some time during the study for reasons other than death or a diagnosis of prostate cancer than in the placebo group [28.9%]): The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT [NCT00006392]) was a large randomized placebo-controlled trial of vitamin E and selenium. It showed no reduction in prostate cancer period prevalence, but an increased risk of prostate cancer with vitamin E alone. Magnitude of Effect: Compared with the placebo group in which 529 men developed prostate cancer, there was a statistically significant increase in prostate cancer in the vitamin E group (620 cases) but not in the selenium plus vitamin E group (555 cases) or in the selenium group (575 cases). The magnitude of increase in prostate cancer risk with vitamin E alone was 17%. March 19, 2012 – Canadian health officials are warning the public that the controversial prescription medications Propecia, Proscar and Avodart may be linked to an increased risk for developing high-grade prostate cancer. New information regarding this risk has been added to Canadian warning labels for these drugs. High-grade prostate cancer is a particularly aggressive form of the disease that grows and spreads more quickly than low-grade prostate cancer. Propecia Update 5/31/12: Attorneys involved in federal lawsuits over Propecia sexual side effects met with a multidistrict litigation (MDL) judge yesterday to discuss procedural matters and the upcoming structure of the trials. To date, only 18 Propecia lawsuits have been consolidated into the MDL; however, this number is expected to grow rapidly in the near future, as Propecia attorneys continue to review potential cases on behalf of individuals allegedly injured by the drug’s side effects. Propecia Update 5/18/12: In an attempt to bring nationwide attention to the severe sexual complications caused by Propecia, a Las Vegas man has staked himself outside Merck’s headquarters in New Jersey. Kevin Malley, 30, began his self-proclaimed ‘hunger strike’ earlier this week, indicating that he had stopped eating on May 13 to protest Merck’s failure to acknowledge Propecia’s inherent dangers. Free Propecia Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, breast cancer, or sexual side effects after taking Propecia, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of Propecia and we can help. Propecia and prostate cancer Finasteride can reduce prostate cancer risk long term, The Finasteride Controversy Questions About Safety Remain Viagra infoDoxycycline for dentalDiflucan headache It appears that Finasteride may lower your risk of slow-growing prostate cancers while increasing your risk of aggressive prostate cancer. The largest study investigating prostate cancer prevention with Finasteride was published in 2003. It found a 24.8% risk reduction in the prevalence of prostate cancer over seven years. Can Finasteride Shrink an Enlarged Prostate? Bens Prostate. Propecia and Prostate Cancer - Survival & Side Effects. Finasteride and prostate cancer ISHRS. Prostate cancer prevention strategies include avoiding risk factors, increasing protective factors, and considering chemoprevention when appropriate. Get detailed information about factors that influence the risk of prostate cancer and research aimed at preventing it in this clinician summary. Will Baldness Prevention Cause Cancer? I’m 45 and have been taking finasteride Propecia for nine years in order to help keep my hair. I recently heard that the drug can cause more aggressive prostate cancer when cancer occurs. Finasteride, sold under the brand names Proscar and Propecia among others, is a medication used mainly to treat an enlarged prostate or scalp hair loss in men. 2 3 4 It can also be used to treat excessive hair growth in women and as a part of hormone therapy for transgender women.