Balding? Check for Prostate Cancer

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A new study of African-American men strengthens the connection between early-onset balding and prostate cancer.

In an examination of 318 men with prostate cancer and 219 men without the disease, researchers found that baldness was associated with a 69 percent increased risk of prostate cancer. And those with frontal baldness were more than twice as likely to have been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. The connection was also stronger among men who had been diagnosed before age 60.

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Hormone changes could be the culprit; a byproduct of testosterone has been linked to both a higher risk of prostate cancer and thinning hair, reports Time.

Earlier studies had shown the link in Caucasian men.

“We focused on African-American men because they are at high risk for developing prostate cancer and are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than other groups in the United States,” Charnita Zeigler-Johnson, research assistant professor at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, said in a statement. “Although this is a high-risk group for poor prostate cancer outcomes, no published study had focused on evaluating baldness as a potential risk factor in a sample of African-American men.”

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Although the study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, was small, if the findings are confirmed in larger studies, Zeigler-Johnson said doctors could use early-onset baldness as a tool to help detect cancer earlier.

 

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