Meds bring small risk of aggressive prostate cancer

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August 23, 2019 - 2:57 PM

Dear Dr. Roach: I’ve had low-grade prostate cancer for several years and am presently on “active surveillance.” My PSAs have been high but steady, running around 7.8 to 9.2. I have a greatly enlarged prostate, which I believe contributes to the high PSA numbers.

I would like your opinion regarding finasteride (Proscar), as I am considering taking it. I see one of its side effects is that it increases the risk of developing a very serious form of prostate cancer. Since I already have this cancer, am I at an increased risk of mine growing more aggressive? — D.N.W.

Answer: A 2013 study showed that although finasteride reduced the overall risk of prostate cancer from 15% to 10% in men followed up to 18 years on finasteride, there was a small increase in high-grade, aggressive prostate cancer, from 3% to 3.5%. However, there was no increased risk of prostate cancer death among treated men.

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