Your hair can reveal a lot about your health. Diabetes and lupus can make your hair fall out. So can hormonal changes and poor nutrition.
And now, a new study shows that men who go bald by the time they’re 20 years old have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
In interviews with 388 prostate cancer patients, French researchers discovered that they were more than twice as likely as healthy men to have started going bald at age 20.
Whether these men would benefit from routine prostate cancer screening is unknown, according to the study published in the Annals of Oncology.
More than 2 million men in the United States are prostate cancer survivors, according to the American Cancer Society. The prostate gland is usually the size of a walnut in younger men. It sits below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The gland is part of a man’s reproductive system, containing cells that create some of the fluid that protects and nourishes sperm.
To detect cancer cells, medical professionals test blood samples for the amount of PSA (prostate-specific antigen). Doctors can also detect cancer during a rectal exam.
Whether or not to undergo blood screening is a personal decision that should be explored with your doctor. Although PSA testing can spot prostate cancer early, it does not indicate how dangerous the cancer may be. Some prostate cancers are slow-growing and do not need treatment, according to the American Cancer Society.
Learn More about Screening for Prostate Cancer
Sources: The Mayo Clinic; Annals of Oncology, American Cancer Society.