Baldness drug could help prevent prostate cancer

February 25, 2009 2:00:07 PM PST
A drug commonly used to treat male pattern baldness could help prevent prostate cancer. Finasteride is used to treat baldness and prostate enlargement. Two top US medical groups say millions of healthy men 55 and older should consider taking it.

Finasteride lowers the levels of a hormone that can contribute to the growth of prostate cancer.

These latest recommendations were based on 15 studies dating back to 2003. Men would need to take the drug for seven years to avoid getting prostate cancer.

The American Cancer Society says the drug is a reasonable option but it's important to note that there is no conclusive evidence that using finasteride can reduce the risk of death from prostate cancer.