Popular male hair loss drug could be linked to breast cancer
Aug 5, 2011
A well known male hair loss treatment drug may be a cause of breast cancer among men, CBC News reports.
The hair loss and enlarged prostate aid Finasteride is only sold in Canada and falls under two names. Propecia is a one-milligram dose used to reverse hair loss, while Proscar is a five-milligram version of the medicince that is used for benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, according to the news outlet.
"Most of the reports [of male breast cancer] have been in association with the five-milligram formulation. Based on the currently available evidence, it is not known with certainty whether finasteride can cause breast cancer, nor can this possibility be ruled out at this point in time," Health Canada said.
Although a small number of cases have been reported, patients taking the medicine in either form should inform their doctors of any change in their breast, including enlargement, lumps, tenderness, pain or nipple discharge.
Merck, the U.S. pharmaceutical group that manufactures the drug, said warning labels have already been updated on the bottles to warn of the potential risk.
According to Medline Plus, male breast cancer is rare, but is still an important matter to be discussed, especially since men may feel more vulnerable with such a diagnosis.