Health: Prostate-Cancer Prevention--with Risks

Say there's a drug that could significantly lower your risk of prostate cancer. Say it could also increase your chance of growing particularly aggressive tumors--those most likely to spread and kill--if you do get cancer. Should you take it? That's the question doctors and patients have been wrestling with since the results of a National Cancer Institute--sponsored trial were published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. Compared with a placebo, Merck's finasteride--a drug currently marketed to treat baldness and benign prostate enlargement--appeared to reduce prostate cancer incidence 25%. But in the seven-year study, involving more than 9,000 men...

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