Finasteride (Proscar, Propecia) is a drug that is often used to treat “benign prostatic hyperplasia” (BPH), which is enlargement of the prostate gland. This condition, which occurs more commonly as men get older, can cause urination difficulty. Finasteride works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, thereby reducing prostate size. Not only does finasteride reduce BPH symptoms and possibly reduce the need for surgery, but recent research suggests that it may also reduce users’ risk of developing prostate cancer. After 16 years of follow-up, researchers found that long-time users of finasteride had a 21 percent reduced risk of prostate cancer. In addition, the study found that previous concerns about finasteride’s possible link with aggressive prostate cancer were unwarranted.
P.S. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) does not raise the risk for prostate cancer.