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Popular drugs used for treating enlarged prostates associated with high-grade prostate cancer

If a man has an enlarged prostate, there’s a good chance he’ll be treated with a type of drug called a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (5-ARI). These drugs shrink the gland to improve urinary flow, and the approved forms used for treating enlarged prostates come in two varieties: Proscar (finasteride) and Avodart (dutasteride).

However, a side effect of 5-ARI inhibitor treatment is that it suppresses blood levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) by about 50%. Doctors measure PSA during prostate cancer screening, and if a man on 5-ARI therapy winds up with results that are artificially low, then he might be falsely reassured that he doesn’t need any additional prostate cancer testing.

Read the full story here.

source: Charlie Schmidt - Harvard Health Publications