ANCHOR LEAD: WHO SHOULD USE THE PROSTATE MEDICATION FINASTERIDE? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Finasteride can reduce a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer but also improve detection of tumors that may already exist in his prostate gland, according to two new studies in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Ballantine Carter, a prostate cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, describes how he would use the drug.
CARTER: The way I would use it clinically is if you have a person who’s had multiple biopsies and they’ve all been benign, and everyone is confused about whether there is a cancer that could be life-threatening that has been missed on a biopsy, then putting a patient on finasteride, seeing what happens on to the PSA, whether it goes down by fifty percent like one would expect in someone without prostate cancer, might be helpful to indicate higher risk of a missed cancer. :27
Carter says more widespread use of finasteride will likely be seen in the wake of these two studies but cautions that the drug is not for everyone. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.