Early hair loss linked to cancer
Men who start losing their hair at the age of 20 double their chances of developing prostate cancer in later life, a study has found.
Researchers suggest anti-baldness pill, finasteride, could be given to at-risk individuals as a preventative anti-cancer treatment.
Male hormones play a role both in male-pattern baldness and prostate cancer.
Finasteride, marketed as Propecia, prevents the conversion of testosterone to a form that promotes baldness.
Until now there has been conflicting evidence about links between balding and prostate cancer.
But the new French study found a specific association between hair loss at a young age and the risk of developing the disease.
Researchers compared 388 men being treated for prostate cancer with a "control group" of 281 healthy men. They found that those with the disease were twice as likely as healthy individuals to have started losing their hair when they were 20.