Can baldness in men increase their risk to prostate cancer? A study suggests that their may be a correlation between a certain pattern of baldness to the tendency to develop aggressive prostate cancer in the later years. Males with moderate baldness in certain areas of the head can increase their risk of the cancer up to 40% by the time they reach the age of 45.
The study, which is now published in Journal of Clinical Oncology, looked into the more than 35,000 cases of men living in the United States based on a list for a trial on cancer screening. These formally non-diagnosed males, whose ages range from 55 to 74 years old, were also surveyed on their experience on male baldness, including how early they developed the hair loss. Many of them recalled to have experienced it when they were around 45 years old.
After about 3 years, the researchers conducted a follow-up on the subjects and discovered that more than 1,000 of them had positive prostate cancer, half of whom were already in their late stages or suffering from an aggressive form. These males, moreover, developed hair loss at the front and moderate baldness at the crown. Other types of baldness did not show any significant correlation to prostate cancer, whether aggressive or non-aggressive.
The relationship between the disease and male baldness may be attributed to a certain hormone known as DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Men who exhibited male-pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia are usually sensitive to this hormone. Follicles, therefore, do not develop properly and have shorter life spans.
Researchers, however, would like to allay possible fears and worry of balding men by saying that the study requires more research before it can even be accepted as part of the screening process for prostate cancer.
Based on the 2011 data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, over 200,000 U.S. men tested positive for prostate cancer while around 27,000 died from the disease.