Men who suffer from male pattern baldness may find themselves with more worries than hair loss. A recent study suggests there may be a link between this very common concern and a greater risk for developing prostate cancer.
The study in question involved nearly 400 people who had no family history of prostate cancer, but were suspected to have the condition. Subjects were scheduled to undergo biopsies. During the course of the study, researchers noted the presence or absence of male pattern baldness. Ultimately, nearly 200 of the men in the study group were diagnosed with cancer. The analysis found that men who presented with higher grade male pattern baldness had a higher risk for developing prostate cancer. Researchers also found that men with higher-grade cancers tended to have more extensive baldness.
While more research is required to better understand and collaborate the findings, clinicians behind the study have some ideas why the potential connection may exist. It is believed that androgens, microRNAs and insulin-like growth factor 1 may be causes behind both conditions.
This recent study adds to other research evidence that suggests a link between aggressive prostate cancer and front and moderate thinning of hair on the crown of the head. Researchers behind a larger-scale study that found the connection between baldness and aggressive prostate cancer theorize that testosterone and androgens may play a role.
Men who suffer from male pattern baldness may find this is a factor that increases their risks for prostate cancer, the studies suggest. Other risks include age, ethnicity, family history and the presence of certain genetic mutations. Obesity is believed to play a role in raising risk for more aggressive forms of this disease, as well.
Men who are concerned about their prostate cancer risks are urged to talk to their healthcare providers. Routine screening is strongly recommended as men age to help doctors detect this disease in its earliest phases if it does develop.