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Study links male-pattern baldness to prostate cancer

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Posted at 5:09 PM, Sep 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-22 08:00:46-04

Research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology might have men checking their hairlines.

The study says men who have a certain pattern of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer than men who have no baldness.

The new finding came from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Researchers asked 39,000 men participating in the study to identify if they had experienced hair loss at 45, and if so, which pattern.

Researchers kept up with the participants, who had an average age of 70 years old at the time of the study. A few years later, about 1,100 of those men had prostate cancer – 600 of those were classified as "aggressive."

The only significant link as it related to baldness was with those men who reported having frontal plus moderate vertex balding.

The co-author of the study told CBS, "It is conceivable that, in the future, male pattern baldness may play a small role in estimating risk of prostate cancer and may contribute to discussions between doctors and patients about prostate cancer screening."

But researchers are hesitant to make baldness patterns part of the screening process, saying the findings need further research.

Find out more with this Newsy video.