Age, hair loss, and risk for prostate cancer diagnosis


An excellent commentary on the NHS Choices web site addresses an article by an Australian research team showing that men who show signs of baldness by age 40 are at heightened risk for a diagnosis of prostate cancer, but that this is not the case at older ages. The risk of having prostate cancer at > 76 years old was about 15 percent in this study, regardless of hair loss at 40.

For comparative purposes, the headline in The Daily Mail today was actually relatively accurate, stating that “Men who go bald by the age of 40 are more likely to get prostate cancer.”

This is by no means the first time that research has indicated a strong correlation male pattern hair loss at a relatively young age and increased risk for a diagnosis of prostate cancer. We are not, however, aware of any correlation between male pattern hair loss at an early age and increased risk for prostate cancer mortality, and the recent Australian study did not address that issue.

2 Responses

  1. My father has a head full of beautiful grey hair at 78. He has advanced prostate cancer. …

  2. Let us be very clear that baldness and hair loss are not necessary elements of risk for prostate cancer. They may indicate increased risk, but as Carolyn makes clear in her comment above, prostate cancer does not discriminate between the follicularly well-endowed and those with issues like male pattern baldness.

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