BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two local urologists are working to help African American Western New Yorkers understand their options when it comes to preventing, diagnosing and treating prostate cancer.
Dr. John Deberry and Dr. Willie Underwood hosted a forum called "For Men Only: An open, honest conversation among men about prostate cancer in communities of color" at the Community Health Center of Buffalo Tuesday night.
The doctors wanted attendees to know about a medication that could prevent prostate cancer. They say a task force has been studying the effects of a drug called "Finasteride" on patients over the past 25 years and the data is striking.
"We know that there's a 25 percent drop in prostate cancer in patients on Finasteride and there's no increase in death rate for prostate cancer," said Dr. Deberry. "In fact we know there are fewer patients on this medication who develop cancer."
Finasteride is used to shrink the size of the prostate and is not currently approved by the FDA to prevent prostate cancer. However, doctors often prescribe drugs for so-called "off-label" uses if there are proven benefits to doing so.
Deberry says more doctors should prescribe Finasteride for this off-label use because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to attain.
The American Cancer Society reports one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, and prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men, behind lung cancer. However most people who are diagnosed with prostate cancer don't die from it, and the ACS reports that 2.9 million men that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive today.