Dr. Catalona – Quest – Winter 2009
It’s not easy to figure out why a thorny cactus produces such beautiful flowers. And it’s not easy to figure out why drugs that seem so effective in one area can cause harmful repercussions in another. © photo by Laurie VanerVelde
Finasteride and its link to masking high-grade prostate cancer has been the topic of several articles in previous Quests. (See the URF website: www.drcatalona.com)
Now, a recent study from the University of Tampere in Tampere, Finland evaluated the prostate cancer (PCa) incidence among a portion of 23,300 men screened for the disease who had used finasteride and another who had used alpha blockers for the treatment of urinary symptoms from an enlarged prostate gland.
At first look, one of the conclusions seemed reassuring: Finasteride was associated with a significant decrease in the risk of low-grade tumors.
Unfortunately, the finding was not reassuring and should not be interpreted as such – for another connection to Finasteride revealed a remarkably dangerous connection: Among long-time finasteride users, the study showed a 2.49 times increased risk of high-grade tumors in prostate cancer patients.
This second finding supports Dr. Catalona’s position that finasteride masks prostate cancer by keeping the PSA of those with PCa low – giving, for some, the erroneous conclusionthat cancer is not present.
The more logical conclusion is that while the finasteride is lowering the PSA, and thereby postponing early detection; high-grade cancer may be growing.
In some of these occurrences, by the time the PSA indicates a problem; the cancer has developed into a highgrade tumor.
Alpha blockers, on the other hand, do not have this PSA lowering effect. Men with an enlarged prostate would be wise to choose alpha blockers as their treatment of choice for urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate.