Study Connects Early Baldness to Prostate Cancer in African Americans

New research finds a link between early baldness and cancer of the male reproductive gland known as the prostate. The study involved African-American men, a group at particularly high risk of prostate cancer.

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious connection between prostate cancer and baldness. But University of Pennsylvania researcher Charnita M. Zeigler-Johnson, PhD, says the two may be linked through a testosterone product called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.  The hormonal chemical, Zeigler-Johnson explains, “is a form of testosterone that seems to be associated with male-pattern baldness and also connected to prostate cancer occurrence and prostate cancer progression.”

Previous studies have looked at the link between baldness and prostate cancer, but Zeigler-Johnson says this is the first to focus on African-American men, whose prostate cancer death rate is two and a half times that of white American men.

In the study, Zeigler-Johnson and her colleagues asked about 300 prostate cancer patients and some 200 non-patients about their baldness history. They then compared the type of baldness and the age when the men started losing hair with their medical histories..

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2 Responses to Study Connects Early Baldness to Prostate Cancer in African Americans

  1. Jenni Lukas June 8, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Pattern balding is distinct from alopecia areata, which commonly involves patchy hair loss. Extreme forms of alopecia areata are alopecia totalis, which involves the loss of all head hair, and the most extreme form, alopecia universalis, which involves the loss of all hair from the head and the body.”:`^

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