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Home News and Update Year 2011 Going Bald at 20 Doubles Risk of Prostate Cancer

Going Bald at 20 Doubles Risk of Prostate Cancer

Times of India
17 February 2011
London, UK

A study showing that men who start to go bald at 20 may be more likely to develop prostate cancer in later life suggests they might benefit from early screening or preventative therapy, scientists said on Tuesday.

French researchers compared 388 men being treated for prostate cancer with 281 healthy men and found that those with the disease were twice as likely as the healthy men to have started losing their hair when they were 20.

If the men only started going bald when they were 30 or 40, there was no difference in their risk of developing prostate cancer compared to the healthy group. "At present there is no hard evidence to show any benefit from screening the general population for prostate cancer. We need a way of identifying those men who are at high risk," said Philippe Giraud of Paris Descartes University, who led the study.

"Balding at the age of 20 may be one of these easily identifiable risk factors and more work needs to be done now to confirm this," he said in a statement.

Giraud, whose findings were published in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology, said men identified as at higher risk of prostate cancer could be selected for earlier screening, or for chemoprevention therapy using socalled anti–androgenic drugs like Merck’s Proscar, or finasteride.

Finasteride is used to treat both prostate enlargement symptoms and baldness. It blocks the conversion of testosterone to an androgen hormone called dihydrotestosterone, which is thought to cause hair loss.
GlaxoSmithKline has a drug in the same class called Avodart, or dutasteride, and is currently seeking approval from US Food and Drug Administration.

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