Men are asking if they should continue taking Avodart, Proscar, etc. to help prevent prostate cancer. This class of drugs (5-alpha-reductase inhibitors) has been shown to lower the OVERALL risk of prostate cancer but seem to lower the risk of less aggressive cancers and INCREASE the risk of more aggressive cancers. These drugs also have other downsides including erectile dysfunction, decreased libido and gynecomastia (breast enlargement).
This is a difficult decision. Men should discuss the pros and cons with their physicians or pharmacists.
One thing for sure. These men should understand the importance of routine digital rectal exams and PSA checks.