Harvard Health Letter

Ask the doctor: BPH drugs for preventing prostate cancer

Q. I take Avodart for my enlarged prostate. But I heard that Avodart increases prostate cancer risk. Is that true? Should I quit taking Avodart?

A. You are on the right track about the cancer risk, but it's complicated.

In June 2011, the FDA did, in fact, add a warning to the label of Avodart and other drugs in its class about the possibility of an increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer. And I was a member of the advisory committee to the FDA that recommended that Avodart and drugs in its class not be approved for prostate cancer prevention — a recommendation the agency followed.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »