A study from Australia shows that men with male pattern baldness are at increased risk for prostate cancer. All men will develop prostate cancer if they live long enough, although most men die with it, not because of it. Most prostate cancer is benign, taking more than 20 years to kill, but sometimes it can progress rapidly. That's why most doctors do not remove prostate cancer in men who are older than 80 years of age.

At this time, doctors don't have any idea why this disease is so common. It has not been shown to be caused by infection, but it may be caused by lack of vitamin D or by eating too much saturated fat. This study shows that it having male pattern baldness increases a man's risk for prostate cancer. The next step is to see if something in the diet or some other factor causes both hair loss and prostate cancer.

Androgenetic alopecia and prostate cancer: Findings from an Australian case-control study. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 2002, Vol 11, Iss 6, pp 549-553. GG Giles, G Severi, R Sinclair, DR English, MRE McCredie, W Johnson, P Boyle, JL Hopper. Giles GG, Canc Control Res Ctr, Canc Epidemiol Ctr, 100 Drummond St, Carlton, Vic 3053, AUSTRALIA

Reported 9/3/02; checked 8/9/05

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