A recent study has cast doubt upon the idea that the medication finasteride (Proscar) improves survival in men with prostate cancer.
The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial was conducted from 1993 to 1997 to determine if men that were randomly assigned to 5mg daily finasteride decreased the risk of prostate cancer and improved overall survival.
Previously information showing a possible decrease in low-grade prostate cancer in men on this medication was released.
Now, Dr. Goodman has presented an update on this study at the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The data shows that in men, even IF the rate of cancer was decreased, there was no change in overall survival.
As a result, I would recommend men NOT to take this medication to decrease their risk of prostate cancer. Why? For one, the medication has several known side effects (decreased libido, erectile dysfunction). Second, and more importantly, what is the benefit if one's survival is unchanged?
Therefore, I would recommend men to not use this medication for prostate cancer prevention.