Monday, May 4, 2009

Doing the Math on Prostate Cancer Prevention

The Associated Press reported last week on a study showing that the drug Avodart lowered the chances of a prostate cancer diagnosis by 23 percent after four years of use. Health News Review's Gary Schwitzer dug a little further and found some figures that may take the bloom off that rose.

"The story said that 'to prevent a single case of cancer, 71 men would have to take finasteride [a similar drug] for 7 years." But it didn't then do the math. The story says Avodart is $3 per pill, so---

"71 men x 365 days/yr. x 7 yrs. x $3/pill = $544,215 to prevent a single case of prostate cancer."

"How can these kinds of numbers be left out of stories?" Schwitzer asks.


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