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Study in SA credited with changing prostate cancer diagnoses, treatment

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SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio is home to a cancer study credited with changing the way prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated around the world.

Dr. Ian Thompson, with Christus Santa Rosa health care system, was behind the study of a drug called finasteride.

More than 18,000 men took part in the study -- 10 percent of them were from San Antonio.

After 25 years of testing, researchers conclude the drug does in fact work.

“It’s very inexpensive. It treats two conditions that happen in aging men, male patterned baldness and prostate enlargement symptoms, and it prevents a quarter of all prostate cancers,” Thompson said.

Thompson said that's equivalent to about 40,000 men per year in the U.S. alone.

Finasteride is generic, but it’s not available over the counter. Researchers say it's one of the most effective preventive measures currently on the market.