Male pattern hair loss, of which the most common form goes by the medical name of androgenetic alopecia, is a sign of aging most men want to avoid. However, reports of a link between androgenetic alopecia and prostate cancer is even worse news.
A 2017 study from the Canadian Urological Association Journal, found male pattern hair loss to be a strong and independent risk factor for prostate cancer. The study subjects were ranked on the Norwood rating scale for either no balding, frontal balding, mild vertex balding, moderate vertex balding, or severe vertex balding.
Hair Loss and Prostate Cancer Connection
The link between androgenetic alopecia and prostate cancer really shouldn’t be surprising. Both conditions are hormone-dependent and specifically tied to androgens. Androgenetic alopecia is the most common form of male hair loss. Risk of hair loss gradually increases with age. In fact, more than 50% of men aged 50 or older will experience some degree of hair loss. Family history is a major factor in hair loss as well.
Testosterone is the hormone that provides many secondary male sex traits such as a deeper voice and increased muscle mass. Testosterone is also converted to another hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is responsible for acne and hair on a man’s chest. DHT can also trigger hair loss from the head. Additionally, DHT can stimulate prostate cell growth. As a man ages, this can contribute to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Men with vertex hair loss tend to have a much higher level of free testosterone and DHT.
The Link Between Prostate Cancer and Hair Loss
Another study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology from 2016 that involved 4,316 men, also found links between prostate cancer and hair loss. The study found a higher risk of an aggressive form of prostate cancer in men with a very specific hair loss pattern.
Despite the two studies, experts and researchers caution against assuming that male pattern hair loss inevitably leads to prostate cancer. It does appear to be a significant factor, though. Thus, it would be wise for men affected by male pattern hair loss to have regular checkups and monitor their prostate health. If there’s a family history of prostate cancer, that precaution would be even wiser.
The Robotic Hair Transplant Solution
If you’re starting to show signs of male pattern hair loss/androgenetic alopecia, contact the experts in hair loss at RHRLI. Hair restoration surgeon, Dr. Baiju Gohil, has a state-of-the-art facility using the ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant System. Contact RHRLI for a personal consultation with Dr. Gohil himself to assess whether robotic hair restoration is appropriate for you. To learn more, contact us today!