February 27, 2009
Drug may help reduce prostate cancer risk
Healthy men screened regularly for prostate cancer who show no symptoms should talk with doctors about a drug, new U.S. guidelines advise.
The newly released joint guideline produced by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Urological Association recommends that men with a prostate-specific antigen score of 3.0 or below who have no symptoms of the disease should discuss with doctors using a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor to prevent the disease. The 5-alpha reductase inhibitors lower the level of the hormone dihydrotestosterone, which can contribute to the growth of prostate cancer.
The guideline aims to provide a useful tool for clinicians and their patients in making an informed decision about the potential benefits and risks of taking the inhibitor for preventing prostate cancer, and examines the use of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors as a method of chemoprevention for prostate cancer.
Chemoprevention is the use of a natural, synthetic or biologic substance to reverse, suppress or prevent the development of cancer. Currently, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are used to treat other non-cancerous conditions, such as male-pattern baldness and benign prostatic hyperplasia, the statement said.