herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

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.

hnews@herald.ie

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