Link between early hair loss and prostate cancer risk

 Men who start to lose their hair in their early 20s may be more likely to develop prostate cancer in later life, new research suggests.

Scientists at the Paris Descartes University in France looked at 388 men who were being treated for prostate cancer, as well as a further 281 cancer-free men.
They found that those with prostate cancer were twice as likely to have started going bald at age 20 as those without the disease.
In contrast, men who only started to lose their hair in their 30s or 40s were no more likely to develop prostate cancer than those in the control group.
The researchers noted that men with early hair loss did not appear to develop prostate cancer at an earlier age than men who did not start losing hair until later in life.
Lead researcher Professor Philippe Giraud revealed that there is currently little evidence to support general population screening for prostate cancer.
He said: 'We need a way of identifying those men who are at high risk of developing the disease and who could be targeted for screening and also considered for chemo-prevention using anti-androgenic drugs such as finasteride.
'Balding at the age of 20 may be one of these easily identifiable risk factors and more work needs to be done now to confirm this.'
In response to the study in the Annals of Oncology, the Prostate Cancer Charity's chief executive, John Neate, observed that pattern baldness and prostate cancer are both affected by testosterone and become more prevalent as men get older.
However, Mr Neate insisted: 'We certainly don't want men to worry about the results of this study. There are many factors which are thought to affect a man's risk of developing prostate cancer, including age, family history, diet, lifestyle and ethnicity.
'Simply how much hair a man has on his head as a single factor is therefore unlikely to be a determining factor in whether or not he will go on to develop the disease.'

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