Does benign prostatic hyperplasia treatment with alpha-blockers affect prostate cancer risk?

Curr Opin Urol. 2013 Jan;23(1):2-4. doi: 10.1097/MOU.0b013e32835abcf2.


Purpose of review: To determine whether alpha-blockers, commonly used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, are associated with prostate cancer risk.

Recent findings: Alpha-blockers have been associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer aggressiveness in some observational studies and an increased risk in other studies. However, this relationship is complex as different alpha-blockers have divergent effects in laboratory studies and there are many confounders in daily practice such as differential screening practices.

Summary: Both benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer are common conditions in the aging male population, such that an interaction between alpha-blockers and prostate cancer risk is clinically relevant. Prospective evidence is necessary to establish a definitive link.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / adverse effects*
  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists