Prostate drug found to reduce cancer risk

A drug that is commonly used by men with enlarged prostates could also help to reduce the risk of developing cancer in the male gland, it has been found.

According to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, men who take dutasteride are 23 per cent less likely to develop the disease.

The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved 6,500 men who were at high risk of suffering prostate cancer.

Some were given a daily dose of the drug, while others took a dummy pill.

Of those taking dutasteride, a total of 659 developed the disease, compared to 858 of those in the placebo group.

The researchers claim the study shows dutasteride shrinks tumours or prevents them from growing to a size which would require prostate cancer treatment.

The UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is currently looking into the use of dutasteride for the prevention of prostate cancer. It is due to issue a report on its findings in October this year.

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