Baldness may be a hassle for many men. Having this condition may initially be of an aesthetic concern. Unfortunately, baldness may also be linked to another health condition. A recent study suggests that male pattern baldness may also be linked to higher prostate cancer risk.
A new, large collective analysis based on the prospective Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial or (PLCO) suggests that men with moderate baldness occurring both the front and the crown of their heads at age 45 may have a 40 percent increased risk of developing an aggressive type of prostate cancer later in life as compared to men who do not go bald at the same age. There was no other link found with prostate cancer risk and other patterns of baldness.
According to Michael B. Cook, Ph.D., an investigator in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD and senior author of the said study, “Our study found an increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer only in men with a very specific pattern of hair loss, baldness at the front and moderate hair-thinning on the crown of the head, at the age of 45. But we saw no increased risk for any form of prostate cancer in men with other hair-loss patterns. While our data show a strong possibility for a link between the development of baldness and aggressive prostate cancer, it’s too soon to apply these findings to patient care.”
The researchers analyzed 39,070 male participants from the US PLCO Cancer Screening Trial with an average age of 55 to 74 years old at enrollment. The men answered a questionnaire asking them to recall their hair loss patterns starting at age 45 by using a pictorial tool. During a follow-up of the male participants, there were 1,138 prostate cancer cases diagnosed, about 51 percent were considered as aggressive. The mean age at the time of the diagnosis was 72 years old.
The researchers found out that men who had frontal and moderate crown pattern baldness were 40 percent more likely to develop the aggressive type of prostate cancer as compared to men who had no baldness. Prostate cancer and male pattern baldness are both linked to increased levels of male sex hormones and receptors. This may suggest that there may be a biological link between male pattern baldness and prostate cancer development.
Dr. Cook further states that if the results of the said study are confirmed by other similar follow-up studies, then it may be a possibility to include a medical assessment of baldness as a means to identify aggressive prostate cancer risk. Dr. Cook’s research team is currently conducting two additional studies to further explore the relationship between male pattern baldness and prostate cancer risk. The results of the study are published in the September 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Source: American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). (2014, September 15). Certain form of baldness at age 45 linked to higher risk for aggressive prostate cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140915164923.htm