Men who go Bald Early May Have Increased Risk of Being Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer

January 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

It is not new that baldness is linked with prostate cancer. The linking factor between these two is the hormone testosterone.

This hormone has an effect on hair follicle and could result to baldness, and the other end it could encourages the growth of prostate cancer cells.

A new study by researchers from the Cancer Council of Victoria in Australia has reconfirmed the link between baldness and prostate cancer. Here are more details about this latest and interesting study:

Men who go bald by the time they reach 40 may be at increased of getting prostate cancer at an early age, according to new research.

Scientists who studied hair loss patterns in nearly 10,000 men found those who experienced receding hair lines early in life were more likely to suffer a tumour later on.

The findings, by a team of researchers in Australia, support earlier studies suggesting baldness could be linked with prostate cancer.

Men who experience receding hair lines early in life are more likely to suffer prostate cancer

Men who experience receding hair lines early in life are more likely to suffer prostate cancer (credit: Daily Mail)

The reasons why are not clear but previous studies indicate it may be due to higher levels of testosterone, the hormone which can trigger the development of cancerous cells but also inhibit hair growth.

In baldness, it’s thought high testosterone levels have an adverse affect on the hair follicles, acting on a hormone receptor to slow down hair production.

Nearly 32,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed every year in the UK and 10,000 men die from it – the equivalent of more than one an hour.

Experts at the Cancer Council of Victoria in Australia monitored 9,448 men who were taking part in a long-term health study, called the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort study.

The men, aged between 40 and 69 when the project began in the early nineties, were asked to score how much hair they had lost at the age of 20 and at the age of 40.

The researchers then tracked them to see how many went on to develop prostate cancer later in life and at what age.

The results, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, showed men who were mostly bald at 40 were significantly more likely to develop early-onset cancer, which for some could be in their fifties or sixties.

The findings support a similar investigation last year, in which scientists compared men undergoing prostate biopsies for suspected cancers and found bald ones were much more likely to be diagnosed with a tumour.

Other research shows bald men are also more at risk of another prostate condition, called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.

Prostate cancer (cells pictured) may be due to higher levels of testosterone. The hormone can trigger the development of cancerous cells but also inhibit hair growth

Prostate cancer (cells pictured) may be due to higher levels of testosterone. The hormone can trigger the development of cancerous cells but also inhibit hair growth (credit: Daily Mail)

This is where the prostate becomes enlarged, usually as a result of the ageing process, until it presses on the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.

The first sign of the condition, which affects around 2.5 million men in the UK, is usually trouble passing urine, or difficulty starting even when the bladder is full.

In a report on their findings the Australian team said: ‘Both prostate cancer and hair loss are strongly age-related conditions that are considered to be androgen (hormone) dependent.

‘We found that baldness at the age of 40 might be a marker of increased risk of early-onset prostate cancer.’ Source.

Conclusively, the link between baldness and prostate cancer is very clear. Most men with high levels of testosterone in their body could be more prone to be diagnosed with cancer of the prostate. In the United States, prostate cancer is the second deadliest cancer killer for men after lung cancer.

The National Cancer Institute has estimated in 2012 that about 28,000 men will die of this disease which is currently ravaging about 1 in 10 men.

If you have baldness on or before the age of 40, then going by the above research, that could be a marker that you may be diagnosed with cancer of the prostate. Early testing can help determine your status on time.

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