According to a new study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, frontal plus moderate vertex baldness in men at age 45 is linked with an elevated risk for developing aggressive prostate cancer.
In the study, researchers analyzed data from 39,070 men who participated in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. In order to be included, patients had to have no prior cancer diagnoses, excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer, and be able to recall their hair-loss patterns at age 45 using a modified Norwood-Hamiton scale.
The researchers identified 1,138 cases of prostate cancer, 571 of which were aggressive, during a median follow-up of 2.78 years. Patients with frontal plus moderate vertex baldness at age 45 was not significantly linked with overall prostate cancer risk or nonaggressive prostate cancer risk compared with men with no baldness. By contrast, the same type of baldness was significantly associated with a 40% increased risk for developing aggressive prostate cancer. Other types of baldness were not associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Increasingly, evidence is suggesting that both prostate cancer and male pattern baldness are linked to increased levels of androgens (male sex hormones) and androgen receptors.
In 2013, Medical News Today reported on a study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, who found that African-American men who experience baldness were 69% more likely to develop prostate cancer than those with no baldness.