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New ASCO/AUA guideline recommends men and their doctors discuss using 5-ARIs to reduce prostate cancer risk
Date:2/25/2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va. A newly released joint guideline produced by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Urological Association (AUA) recommends that healthy men who are screened regularly for prostate cancer and show no symptoms of the disease should talk to their doctors about using a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (5-ARI) to prevent the disease. 5-ARIs lower the level of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which can contribute to the growth of prostate cancer.

This guideline aims to provide a useful tool for clinicians and their patients in making an informed decision about the potential benefits and risks of taking 5-ARIs for preventing prostate cancer and examines the use of 5-ARIs as a method of "chemoprevention" for prostate cancer. Chemoprevention is the use of a natural, synthetic or biologic substance to reverse, suppress or prevent the development of cancer. Currently, 5-ARIs are used to treat other non-cancerous conditions, such as male-pattern baldness and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among men and the second-leading cause of cancer death in men. "Although one in every six men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, we are not recommending that all men take 5-ARIs," said Barnett S. Kramer, MD, MPH, Associate Director for Disease Prevention at the National Institutes of Health and co-chair of the guideline panel. "However, we would encourage men to begin a dialogue with their doctors to determine if they could benefit from taking 5-ARIs to reduce their prostate cancer risk."

The key recommendations in the guideline include:

  • Men with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) score of 3.0 or below who are screened regularly (or plan to get yearly PSA tests) and currently show no signs of prostate cancer are encouraged to talk with their doctor about the risks and benefits of taking a 5-ARI to further prevent their li
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Contact: Lacey Dean
ldean@auanet.org
410-689-4054
American Urological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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