View Full Version : Do antiandrogens decrease or increase the risk for developing prostate cancer?

01-09-2016, 04:40 PM
So, I'm thinking about finally starting propecia, but am unsure whether it increases or decreases the risk for developing prostate cancer later on in life. I had cancer in my teens, so I tend to turn into a hypochondriac when I read that a drug my be related to the development of cancer.

There are various studies that partially link male pattern baldness and prostate cancer. Especially men with a combined frontal and vertex balding pattern are supposedly susceptible to develop an aggressive type of prostate cancer later on in life:

As androgens are mainly responsible for the development of MPB and prostate cancer, I would jump to the quick conclusion that finasteride would be beneficial in not just slowing balding but also for decreasing prostate cancer risk. I mean, Proscar® is actually used for the treatment of an enlarged prostate, by decreasing testosterone and DHT levels.

However, this FDA statement from from 2011 really confuses me:
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm258529.htm -> "FDA notified healthcare professionals that the Warnings and Precautions section of the labels for the 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (5-ARI) class of drugs has been revised to include new safety information about the increased risk of being diagnosed with a more serious form of prostate cancer (high-grade prostate cancer)."
http://www.drugwatch.com/propecia/ -> "In June 2011, the FDA released a safety announcement warning that Propecia and other 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors may increase the risk for a serious form of prostate cancer. Known as high-grade prostate cancer, this is the most deadly kind."

Though, there is another new study from 2015:
Here it's stated that:"Among men with detectable finasteride concentrations, there was no association between finasteride concentrations and prostate cancer risk, low-grade or high-grade... Since there was no concentration-dependent effect on prostate cancer, any exposure to finasteride intake may reduce prostate cancer risk. These results suggest that finasteride exposure may reduce prostate cancer risk..."

This just leaves me confused as, if I understand it correctly, the FDA and the recent study from 2015 from C. Chau et al. basically state opposite things on the risk/benefits of finasteride regarding the development of prostate cancer.

So, does 1mg of Propecia® per day reduce or increase the risk for the development of certain types of prostate cancer?

Would really appreciate some comments on this. Thank you!

01-09-2016, 06:59 PM
I would just go with the obvious simple answer. They have no real idea if it helps or hurts.

01-09-2016, 09:00 PM
Propecia may reduce the risks or increase the risks for prostate cancer. Propecia may greatly increase or decrease your libido. Propecia might save your hair or completely obliterate your hair quickly. I am not a medical doctor.

01-09-2016, 09:03 PM
haha... sorry, I know this was a serious post. There is not a single person on this earth that can give you a LEGITIMATE answer for anything regarding propecia, other than is reduces the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, thus reducing DHT. I have looked high and low for almost everything regarding this drug. Forums, published research, dermatologists and HT doctors... they are all lacking information and clueless. Good luck brother.

Rashid Rashid, MD, PhD
01-11-2016, 06:16 AM
One interpretation we often hear of the information posted is that anti-androgens can have benefit in prostate tumor(mainly the benign type or the advanced malignant type to slow them down) however, they also mask/hinder the ability to detect them early so if you are on them you are more often to be diagnosed late stage and/or with an aggressive advanced form. Now this is all just probability studies so not everyone will have the same effects and/or outcomes. It is a good example why this rx should be managed by a doctor who will talk to you regularly rather then just getting it online as if it was a bottle of water.