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Bald pill could prevent cancer

MILLIONS of healthy men aged 55 and older should consider taking finasteride, a drug used to treat prostate enlargement symptoms and baldness, to prevent prostate cancer, according to two top medical groups in the United States.

Healthy men who are screened regularly and have no symptoms of prostate cancer should discuss with a doctor the possibility of taking a daily finasteride pill, they recommended.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Urological Association recommendations said that medical studies show the risk of prostate cancer drops by about 25 percent among men taking the drug.

Finasteride is a type of drug called a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor and is available generically to treat urinary problems caused by enlargement of the prostate. Merck and Co sells it as baldness remedy Propecia. It was also sold by Merck as Proscar to treat enlargement of the prostate before it became available generically.

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


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