Among the many adverse side effects to be linked to the popular hair loss treatment drug Propecia, perhaps the most severe is male breast cancer. It is a rare disease, occurring in less than 1% of men from the general population, that forms in the male breast tissue. Signs and symptoms of Propecia-induced breast cancer may include male breast enlargement, lumps or pain in the breast area, and unusual discharge from the nipples.
Propecia Update 4/12/12: The warning labels of Propecia and Proscar will be updated to include information about sexual side effects, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday. The administration’s action came in response to its review of hundreds of adverse event reports that had been linked to the drugs. Click here to learn more.
Free Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has suffered from sexual dysfunction or been diagnosed with cancer after taking Propecia (finasteride) or Proscar, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of Propecia and we can help.
What is Male Breast Cancer?
Although breast cancer occurs far less frequently in men than women, the conditions exhibit similar characteristics in both sexes. The disease begins when normal breast cells grow uncontrollably, resulting in an unusual mass called a tumor. Tumors can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), in which case the tumor has the ability to metastasize and spread to other locations in the body. Breast cancer is seen less commonly in men because their breast duct cells are less developed than those of women, and because their breast cells are not constantly exposed to the growth-promoting effects of estrogen.
Propecia & Breast Cancer
The risk of developing male breast cancer may be increased in individuals who take Propecia over an extended period of time, according to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute:
Finasteride shrinks androgen-dependent prostate tissue by inhibiting steroid 5α-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). However, inhibition of DHT production alters the estrogen-to-androgen ratio and may also increase the risk of gynecomastia and male breast cancer. Reports to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from June 1992 through February 1995 showed that gynecomastia had been observed in 214 men receiving finasteride therapy. Two of these men were subsequently found to have invasive ductal breast carcinoma. There was also a higher incidence of gynecomastia in men participating in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. The rate of gynecomastia was 426 (4.5%) of 9423 subjects randomly assigned to the finasteride arm compared with 261 (2.8%) of 9457 subjects randomly assigned to the placebo arm. There was one case of breast cancer in each arm of the trial.
Propecia Breast Cancer Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of Propecia-induced breast cancer may include:
- a lump felt in the breast
- nipple pain
- an inverted nipple
- nipple discharge (clear or bloody)
- sores on the nipple and areola (the small ring of color around the center of the nipple)
- enlarged lymph nodes under the arm
Male Breast Cancer Treatment
Depending on the disease’s stage, the patient’s overall health and personal preferences, male breast cancer may be treated by a variety of different methods including:
- surgery to remove breast tissue and surrounding lymph nodes
- radiation therapy
- hormone therapy
Propecia side effects
In addition to having the potential to cause male breast cancer, Propecia has also been linked to a number of other severe side effects including:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Less desire for sex
- Decrease in the amount of semen
- Ejaculation disorders
- Testicular pain
- Prostate cancer
- Genital shrinkage
- Penile Fibrosis (Payronie’s Disease)
- Body disfigurement
- Endocrine system failure
- Psychological and emotional trauma
Other, less severe side effects commonly reported in Propecia users include:
- Breast tenderness
- Allergic reactions
If you are taking Propecia
If you are currently undergoing treatment with Propecia, consult your physician immediately if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, as these may be indicators of male breast cancer. Additionally, contact your doctor if you are experiencing unexplained hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.
Propecia is intended for the treatment of hair loss in men only, and should never be taken by women or children. If a pregnant women takes Propecia or even absorbs it through her skin, it may cause serious birth defects in the unborn baby. Expecting mothers who come into contact with Propecia in any way should consult their doctors immediately.
Want to learn more about Propecia side effects?
Please visit our home page where we provide an overview of the Propecia lawsuit. Here we have posted a number of videos, links to studies and research, and related information: Propecia Lawsuit
Do You Have a Propecia Breast Cancer Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Propecia lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new breast cancer in all 50 states.
Remember, taking a drug like Propecia to treat hair loss shouldn’t lead to permanent sexual dysfunction or cancer. Our law firm is passionate about helping the large number of otherwise healthy men who have suffered from the serious and potentially irreversible side effects of Propecia.
If you or a loved one has suffered from sexual dysfunction or been diagnosed with cancer after taking Propecia (finasteride) or Proscar, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help. We offer a Free Confidential Case Evaluation.