As if being bald weren’t enough of a difficulty, now it appears that bald men may actually be at higher risk for developing prostate cancer. The study from the University of Toronto, led by Dr. Neil Fleshner found that men who underwent prostate biopsies were more likely to actually be diagnosed with cancer if they had significant levels of hair loss.
The study included 214 men, and it showed a correlation between the two but didn’t show that baldness triggered cancer.
While the findings shouldn’t send bald men into a tizzy, and they need to be replicated in other studies, they should be a warning sign for balding men. Researchers aren’t exactly clear about why there is a link between balding and prostate cancer, but they believe that it is connected to higher levels of testosterone.
Testosterone inhibits hair growth and can trigger the development of cancer cells.
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As Dr. Felshner explained the findings, “Bald men should be aware that they may benefit from being screened earlier and perhaps, if necessary, from being biopsied sooner.”
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Atlanta, Georgia. They were able to show that men with more severe hair loss were more likely to have tumors. Their study was backed by another one in 1020 that showed that bald men have a higher risk for another prostate condition, called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.