Researches reopen debate over medication's use
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/23/2013 -- A new study has brought back an old debate regarding whether men should use baldness grudges to prevent prostate cancer.
The drug finasteride, a hormone-blocking agent that is a generic drug has been used to shrink enlarged prostates. While it has been used to treat male-pattern baldness for over a decade, the use of prostate control has also been around for some time.
In 2003, a study of over 18,000 men noted that the drug lowered a man's risk of prostate cancer by nearly a third. However, the Food and Drug Administration failed to approve finasteride the assist in the prevention of the cancer due to what they called troubling findings. While the drug reduced the size of the prostate, men who used the product also noted fast-growing tumors compared to those who were given placebo.
The follow-up study, which was produced in the New England Journal of Medicine, has now reopened the debate about the potential benefits of drugs. It showed that 14 or 17 years following the enrollment in the study, survival rates among men who utilized the drug were nearly the same as those who took the placebo. The numbers were mined from the Social Security death records, suggested that the drug was not causing aggressive tumors, but instead was makes it easier for the tumors to grow while still assisting in the shrinking of the tumor.
Dr. Ian Thompson, who directed the cancer therapy research center for the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and the study’s lead author stated that due to the large numbers of the tumor growth, often treatments that have other adverse effects are considered worse than the unfortunate tumors.
“It doesn’t reduce the risk of cancers that take men’s lives, but low-grade cancers lead to huge amounts of follow-up testing and treatment,’’ Thompson said. “With the drug, you just don’t find as many cancers, and that’s a good thing.’’
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