Tags: balding early | balding by age 30 | prostate cancer risk | lower

Balding Early Indicates Lower Cancer Risk

Wednesday, 17 Mar 2010 07:44 AM


There is a silver lining for men who are balding by the young age of 30 — they are up to 45 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer.

Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine studied 2,000 men between the ages of 40 and 47. Half of the men had prostate cancer. They found that the men who remembered having balding spots and receding hairlines by the age of 30 had the lowest risk of cancer.

The link appeared to be the male hormone testosterone. Hair loss is most often caused by a chemical in the blood called DHT that is produced by testosterone. Too much DHT causes hair follicles to shrink and hair to become thinner. The men who went bald at an early age had high levels of testosterone.

The findings have the potential for being controversial since earlier studies have hinted that hair loss increases the risk of cancer. Currently, men suffering from prostate cancer are given drugs to suppress testosterone, which is believed to spur the growth of tumors once they develop. But the current research suggests that high levels of testosterone in early life may protect a man against developing the disease.

"At first, the findings were surprising," Dr. Jonathan Wright, an expert in prostate cancer at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, told the Daily Mail. "But we found that early onset baldness was associated with a 29 to 45 percent reduction in their relative risk of prostate cancer."

"Clearly the age at which a man begins to lose his hair is unfortunately not a risk factor for prostate cancer over which he has any control," Dr. Helen Rippon, head of research at U.K.'s The Prostate Cancer Charity, told BBC News. "However, if these results are correct, they could be useful in providing us with a greater understanding of how testosterone behaves in the body and how it can affect different issues."

According to the British hair loss clinic Belgravia Center, 40 percent of men have noticeable hair loss by the age of 35.






© HealthDay

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There is a silver lining for men who are balding by the young age of 30 — they are up to 45 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer.
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