As often discussed at The Griffin Center for Hair Restoration and Research, there are countless factors that can influence hair loss, including hormones, stress, diet, thyroid, and more. Overall, determining hair loss causes is a comprehensive process that requires the knowledge of experts who have spent years studying hair loss patterns. While normally possible to determine the cause or narrow down to a few influential factors, determining what hair loss signifies is a subject of study for many researchers.
Over the past few years, various studies have indicated that early baldness may signal an increased cancer risk in men. In 2012, an Australian study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, suggested that men who lost their hair early in life (around 40) were more likely to suffer early onset prostate cancer in their fifties or sixties. Men with high levels of testosterone, a hormone that contributes to hair loss, may be at increased vulnerability because both prostate cancer and hair loss are strongly hormone dependent.
However, another study published in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology showed that beginning baldness around the ages of 30 or 40 does not have an effect on cancer risk. Rather, the risk came when balding began at age 20. In the French study lead by researchers at Paris Descartes University, 388 men being treated for prostate cancer were compared to 281 healthy men. Results found that those with the disease were twice as likely as the healthy men to have started losing their hair when they were 20. Examiners in this study advocate further research into the subject due to the importance of discovering additional ways, such as connecting prostate cancer and hair loss, to catch cancer before it progresses.
While far from definitive, more studies are likely to follow to examine the possibility of early baldness signaling cancer risk. Early screening, preventative therapy, and practicing a healthy lifestyle all contribute to lessening the risk of the development of prostate cancer, which is the second most common cancer in men after lung cancer and kills an estimated 255,000 men each year.
Hair loss specialists Drs. Edmond Griffin and Ashley Curtis stress the importance of speaking with a hair loss specialist to discuss causes and treatments for hair loss. To make an appointment, please contact our office today. Be sure to connect with The Griffin Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest hair loss news and information.