Baldness Linked to Colorectal Cancer

The Physicians Committee

Baldness Linked to Colorectal Cancer

January 26, 2016


Male balding patterns are linked to colorectal cancer, according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer. Researchers assessed hair patterns and cancer incidence rates in 32,782 middle-aged men as part of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Those who experienced frontal-only baldness and frontal-plus-mild-vertex baldness had a 30 percent higher risk for colorectal cancer than those with no baldness, frontal-plus-moderate-vertex baldness, or frontal-plus-severe-vertex baldness. A separate analysis linked frontal-only baldness with increased risk for colorectal tumors. While previous studies linked male pattern baldness to prostate cancer, this is the first to explore similar links with colorectal cancer. Researchers suspect insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which is elevated by consumption of dairy products, and excess insulin activity to be possible mechanisms.

Keum N, Cao Y, Lee DH, et al. Male pattern baldness and risk of colorectal neoplasia. Br J Cancer. 2016;114:110-117.


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