Bald men may have higher prostate cancer risk
New research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research conference in Philadelphia over the weekend suggests that men who suffer from male pattern baldness may be at a greater risk of dying from prostate cancer.
To conduct their study, researchers at the National Cancer Institute analyzed information from more than 4,000 U.S. men ages 25 to 74, who were assessed by a dermatologist and categorized as having no balding, minimal balding or moderate or severe balding. The results showed that men with any degree of balding were 56 percent more likely to die from prostate cancer over a 21-year period, compared with men who were not losing their hair, and that those with moderate balding were 83 percent more likely to die from prostate cancer, compared to those with no balding.
While researchers say it’s too soon to make any screening recommendations based on these findings, they believe the link between baldness and prostate cancer might be due to high levels of hormones, such as testosterone. Men with male pattern baldness have been found to have higher levels of male hormones and these hormones also fuel the growth of prostate cancer cells.
More research is needed to reinforce this correlation, but the scientists suggested that baldness could one day serve as an early indicator of prostate cancer.