Hair Loss Pill Finasteride Prostate Cancer Concerns
This topic on Finasteride and prostate cancer risks is created in collaboration with Dr. John Cole's hair clinic in Atlanta, a top ranked hair clinic on HairSite with over 13 years of uninterrupted patient records in our community.
Finasteride, a tiny blue pill that many of us are taking for hair loss. Finasteride (1mg) is the generic formula of a brand name medication called Propecia. Propecia is presently the only hair loss pill approved by the FDA for the treatment of male pattern baldness.
We are not going to get into the efficacy of Finasteride for hair loss here, instead we are going to talk about the safety issues of Finasteride as it pertains to prostate cancer. This is an important topic for anyone using Finasteride or considering using it for hair loss or other conditions.
Finasteride Prostate Cancer Study
The first study we are going to quote here is a research funded by the National Cancer Institute. The 10-year trial, involving nearly 19,000 participants nationwide, ended in 2003 with a very contradictory conclusion on finasteride and prostate cancer risks which you should all find interesting.
Finasteride High Grade Prostate Cancer Risks
The trial data shows that despite the fact that men taking finasteride had fewer prostate cancers overall, they had a greater proportion of high-grade prostate cancers. By the close of the study, prostate cancer had been reported in about 18 percent of the men who took finasteride compared to 24 percent of the men who took placebo. Despite the fact that men taking finasteride had fewer prostate cancers overall, they had a greater proportion of high-grade prostate cancers. Overall, 6.4 percent of men on finasteride had high-grade tumors compared to only 5.1 percent in the placebo group.
Latest Data on Finasteride and Prostate Cancer Risks
Recently, more on the subject has emerged thanks to a follow up study that lasted up to 18 years involving the original trial participants. The follow up study was also funded by National Cancer Institute and it showed that Finasteride reduced the risk of prostate cancer by about one third in the long run. Although high-grade prostate cancer was more common in the finasteride group than in the placebo group, but after 18 years of follow-up, there was no significant difference in the overall survival rates for both groups.
Finasteride Prostate Cancer Long Term Study
Below is a slide for those who are interested in digging into the numbers and statistics. We started with nearly 19,000 participants in the original study.
Prostate cancer was diagnosed in 989 or 10.5% in the finasteride group vs 1412 or 14.9% in the placebo group. Of the men who were evaluated, 3.5% in the finasteride group vs 3.0% in the placebo group had high-grade cancer.
Of the men who died, 2538 were in the finasteride group vs 2496 in the placebo group, for a 15-year survival rates of 78.0% and 78.2% respectively.
Ten-year survival rates were 83.0% in the finasteride group vs 80.9% in the placebo group for men with low-grade prostate cancer and 73.0% vs 73.6% respectively for those with high-grade prostate cancer.
Some people may consider these results encouraging because they raise the possibility that finasteride use may potentially reduce prostate cancer risk long term. Some researchers even suggest that the drug may have a benefit that lasts long after men stop taking it.
However, that's not to say that you should go get a script for Finasteride right away. These trial data are by no means conclusive evidence that Finasteride can indeed lower prostate cancer risks for all men. As with all medications, there are risks and side effects involved. It is very important that you discuss these trial data with your doctor before making a decision.
Treating Hair Loss Without Finateride
And for those who do not wish to mess with medications and potential side effects, there are other options for hair loss such as Platelet Rich Plasma hair therapy and even hair transplant procedures. There are many choices out there, Finasteride is not the only answer for hair loss.
To learn more about this topic or to speak to a specialist about your condition, contact Dr. Cole hair clinic for a free consultation. No cost, no fee, just good honest information from a reputable and top ranked clinic on HairSite. Call 800-368-4247 or visit Dr. Cole hair restoration for details.
Dr. Cole is a sponsorsing physician of HairSite with over 13 years of uninterrupted patient records in our community. Dr. Cole's clinic is presently one of the few in the world offering Platelet Rich Plasma PRP hair treatment together with ACell and other advanced restoration techniques not available elsewhere.