Thought you would be interested in this new advisory from Health Canada regarding finasteride and breast cancer:
I know this topic has been discussed before, but it looks like Canadian patients using finasteride (including me for 8 years) will see the new advisory in the leaflet…
The average age for male breast cancer is 71 years old. The number of cases I can find in the medical literature are very few. As the press release points out, of the small number of cases, “Most of the reports have been in association with the 5mg formulation”.
With the average age for our patients under 40, the lack of finding breast cancer is not surprising. I recall reading that up to 50 men taking 5mg finasteride (Proscar) and just 3 men taking 1mg finasteride (Propecia) had been reported to have breast cancer, though the link between the medication and the breast cancer wasn’t proven — nor could it be ruled out. If there’s updated information, I still suspect the total number is very low considering the number of men using the medication at any dose. Nevertheless, even with this rare risk, I will add include it in my discussions with patients.
As an aside, I wonder if these 3 men had the gene for breast cancer, which (in theory) could be provoked by finasteride. The best way for a typical young patient to evaluate this should be in his own family history. Those men with a family history of breast cancer in mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts… should be more aware of this risk, although still very remote.