Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among men in the United States -- affecting nearly 200,000 men every year. There are several treatment options, but new research shows there may be a way to prevent the disease altogether.
Doctors hope that the drug -- finasteride -- will make a difference in preventing prostate cancer. In smaller doses, it's commonly known as Propecia for baldness. It works by stopping testosterone's conversion to DHT -- a more active form of the hormone. It is known that prostate cancer is a hormone-dependent cancer. DHT is more active and more potent in prostate cancer development.
A study of more than 20,000 men showed finasteride decreased prostate cancer risk by 25 percent. Researchers say no more than 3 percent of the men in the study had side effects, including mild sexual dysfunction. However, they say when the drug was stopped, sexual function was returned to normal.