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Follow-up Study Rethinks Earlier Propecia, Prostate Cancer Link

Aug 16, 2013

A new study — a follow-up to previous data — has examined the potential side effects of taking the male-pattern baldness drug finasteride.

According to a blog post, the study was published in a recent edition of The New England Journal of Medicine. It followed a previous study that found men taking the drug finasteride (sold under the Propecia brand) might be at greater risk of growing aggressive cancerous prostate tumors compared with a group on placebos. However, that study also found that the drug was effective at reducing the risk of low-grade prostate cancer by 30 percent.

In the new research, authors reveal that finasteride ingestion may not have actually caused that aggressive growth of new tumors but rather helped to make them visible by shrinking the prostate. The study also found that the survival rate was the same for men who took finasteride and those who took a placebo, according to The New York Times.

Propecia is commonly prescribed to treat and prevent male-pattern baldness. Thousands of men have taken the drug despite concerns about its association with fast-growth cancer either to try to re-grow their hair or to treat and prevent prostate cancer.

Study authors actually suggest that “widespread use” of Propecia could help men avoid costly treatments for prostate cancer, as the drug may actually help prevent the condition while posing very little threat to long-term life, according to The New York Times.

Our reports show that taking finasteride may cause other side effects not considered in this study. An increasing number of men who take Propecia have noticed that it may be causing other side effects entirely, namely long-lasting or sometimes permanent sexual side effects. The drug has also been linked to some cases of male breast cancer.

According to our previous reports, Propecia users have noticed that they’ve been suffering from sexual side effects like erectile dysfunction. Indeed, the maker of Propecia says that 8 percent of men taking the drug suffer sexual side effects. Another recent study we’ve noted in the past revealed that as many as 20 percent of men who suffered erectile dysfunction while taking Propecia have continued to experience these side effects several years after they stopped taking the drug.

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