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Losing hair at 20 is linked to increased risk of prostate cancer in later life
Date:2/15/2011

and androgens also play a role in the development and growth of prostate cancer. Finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone to an androgen called dihydrotestosterone, which is thought to cause hair loss, and the drug is used to treat the condition. It has also been shown to decrease the incidence of prostate cancer.

From September 2004 Prof Giraud and his colleagues asked the men in their study to answer a questionnaire about their personal history of prostate cancer (if any) and to indicate on four pictures any balding patterns that they had at ages 20, 30 and 40. The pictures showed four stages of hair loss: no balding (stage I), frontal hair loss (receding hairline around the temples), vertex hair loss (a round bald patch at the top of the head), or a combination of both types of hair loss (stage IV). The men's doctors were also asked to provide a medical history of their patients, including any diagnosis of prostate cancer, age at diagnosis, stage of the disease and treatment. The study ran for 28 months. The men with prostate cancer were diagnosed with the disease between the ages of 46 and 84.

Dr Michael Yassa (M.D.), currently Assistant Professor at the University of Montreal (Montreal, Canada) and a radiation oncologist at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal, but who previously worked as a radiation oncology Fellow at the European Georges Pompidou Hospital, said: "There were only three men with stage III and none with stage IV hair loss at the age of 20, but the data revealed that any balding at stages II-IV (37 cases and 14 controls) was associated with double the risk of prostate cancer later in life. This trend was lost at ages 30 and 40.

"We were unable to find an association between the type or pattern of hair loss and the development of cancer. This might be due to the very low prevalence of stage III and IV hair loss at the ages of 20 and 30 in our study."

The researchers say the link between baldn
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
European Society for Medical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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