Hair happenings harbour health warnings

hairless wonder in highschool yearbookThe state of your hair often speaks volumes about your health. Most of us are a little tuned into hair chit chat ….

Research from France suggest early hair loss in men, could be a sign of prostate troubles later on in life.

Frenchmen losing their hair

The French study looked a bunch of old-ish men (the age range was 46 – 84) – some were being treated for prostate cancer (388), the rest were healthy (281).

Among the data gathered from the men, was when they started to lose their hair. The question was not put quite as bluntly as that, the guys had to pick from one of four head shots,

  • No hair loss
  • Frontal hair loss i.e. receding hairline around the temples
  • Vertex hair loss i.e. a round bald patch at the top of the head
  • A combination of frontal and vertex hair loss

Each man picked the shot that best matched what he looked like in his 20s, 30s and 40s.

The hair loss data was combined with their medical history, specifically as it related to prostate cancer.

Hair disappearing at twenty a negative

Hair loss is typically a negative – most French women don’t find balding men particularly sexy. But any kind of early hair loss i.e. during the twenties, came as the BIGGEST negative. Hair loss in the later years i.e. thirties, forties etc. seemed to be health neutral.

The trouble for early shedders, they seemed to be more likely to end up in the crowd dealing with prostrate cancer. They didn’t necessarily end up in the crowd earlier, but they were twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Prostrate screening a good idea for early shedders

The research is not saying, if your hair starts to fall out in your twenties, you’re going to get prostate cancer…… let’s cut off the bits or chemically castrate you, as a protective measure.

But, the data does suggest your odds of facing a diagnosis of prostate cancer increase a little. The number of men being “looked” at is rather small, so the data is not going to be definitive.

It is a little, but the little might be worth keeping an eye on.

It does add up

prostate cancer wardHair loss in most men begins with hormones, specifically the male hormones which are collectively referred to as androgens. The androgen which is fingered for the hair troubles is dihydrotestosterone. The official diagnosis for this man-ly hair loss, is androgenic alopecia or male batter baldness.

Prostate cancer, like other reproductive cancers, is “powered” by sex hormones, specifically the androgens.

Early hair loss, suggests LOTS of testosterone is doing the rounds. The lots of testosterone has the potential to fire up a wayward prostate cell, so it ends up dividing out of control, turning cancerous.

 

Keeping an eye on things

It is relatively easy to keep an eye on things in those nether regions, unlike some cancers which are pretty hard to spot.

The PSA test, is a relatively painless way of keeping tabs on the state of the prostate. The only pain is that of the needle which draws the blood sample, which is sent to the lab for testing and the resulting bill. The test is usually part of the routine medical check ups performed for older men.

A higher than normal PSA count, suggests the prostate is upset. The upsets are not always cancer, but an elevated count puts everyone on high alert, allowing for further investigations and early interventions.

Younger men are not screened

Screening every able body man from 19 to 90 for prostate cancer doesn’t make sense, especially Rands and cents. So only older men are screened. The thinking behind this, is that prostate cancer is largely a disease of old men, so they are more at risk.

This study suggests people who lose their hair early in life, have body chemistry which puts them at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

THE MAN needs monitoring

So if you or someone you love, began losing hair early – first off, congrats you’re a WINNING MAN. But, bare in mind, even though you’re THE MAN, your prostate needs monitoring.

Pay particular attention to getting screened for prostate cancer, start early and do it regularly. You need to know your PSA number, along with your BP (blood pressure) and sugar levels for good body chemistry.

Male pattern baldness and the risk of prostate cancer. Annals of Oncology (2011). 22(8) : 1824-27.  M. Yassa, M. Saliou, Y. De Rycke, C. Hemery, M. Henn, J.M. Bachaud, N. Thiounn, J.M. Cosset, P. Giraud.
 

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Further reading

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Catching lung cancer early through the dog squad Collaborating ?  Testosterone is the elephant in the room Being stressed is a human condition not a product of our era

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

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Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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