Balding May Indicate Risk of Prostate Cancer

Aggressive prostate cancer may be tied to specific male baldness pattern in middle age

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) Balding and prostate cancer are two different but common concerns for many men. Now, new research suggests the two may be connected.

The study recorded baldness patterns and cases of prostate cancer among a large group of men.

The researchers found that men who had a certain type of moderate baldness at age 45 had an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer later in life.

"Discuss prostate cancer screening with your oncologist."

According to the authors of this new study, which was led by Michael Cook, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute's Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch in Bethesda, MD, past studies have explored a potential link between prostate cancer and baldness, but they have been inconclusive.

To study a tie between the two, Dr. Cook and team used data from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial to study 39,070 men without a cancer diagnosis. The men self-reported hair loss at age 45.

During follow-up, which lasted for an average of 2.78 years, 1,138 prostate cancer diagnoses were found, including 571 aggressive cases. The men were 72.2 years old on average at the time of their diagnoses.

After looking at different patterns of hair loss, Dr. Cook and team found that those who had moderate baldness on both the crown and front of the head at age 45 had a 39 percent higher risk for aggressive prostate cancer than men who had no baldness.

However, these men had no major increased risk of other types of prostate cancer. The study authors noted no connections between other baldness patterns and prostate cancer.

Further research is needed to explore the potential connection between balding and prostate cancer risk, the authors noted.

The study was published Sept. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics funded the study. The authors disclosed no conflicts of interest.

Review Date: 
September 17, 2014
Last Updated:
September 18, 2014