Testosterone Therapy, Prostate Cancer and the Baldness Test

Testosterone therapy may not increase prostate cancer risk, as The Times reported earlier today. Many men are turning to the therapy in hopes of increasing their muscle mass, their energy and their libido.

However, prostate cancer may be linked to premature balding. In addition to a hat, prematurely balding men might also want to get a prostate exam. This advice comes from a new study that finds young men who show signs of baldness are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer.

Nearly 50 percent of men will experience male pattern baldness in their lifetime, though the onset of this condition occurs at middle age. Still, some men start losing hair before the age of 20, and these are the guys whose risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is doubled. Meanwhile, those who maintained a full head of hair into their 30s did not demonstrate an increased risk of prostate cancer down the line.

The good news is experiencing hair loss in your 20s does not mean you’ll develop prostate cancer in your 20s. So while young balding men probably do not have prostate cancer yet, they should routinely check for the disease as their age and other risk factors increase. Moreover, balding is not indicative of a death sentence: hairless men’s tumors were no more severe than men who had prostate cancer while maintaining a full set of hair, so it is certainly treatable if caught in time.

While more research will need to be conducted to verify this link, the study is a significant step in the fight against prostate cancer. Since catching prostate cancer early is important for successful treatment, identifying warning signs for the disease will certainly assist in the detection process.

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