New Association Identified between Male Balding and Colon Cancer

Previous studies have examined whether men with male pattern hair loss have an increased risk of cancer. Some studies (albeit not all) have suggested an increased risk for prostate cancer. Whether a link between male balding and other types of cancer exists is unknown. 

Why search for links between male balding and colon cancer?

The pathways leading to male balding and colon cancer may have similarities. Insulin, insulin growth factor type 1 (IGF -1) and androgens may have a role in both colon cancer and balding.

In a new study, researchers examined whether there was an association between baldness and the risk of colon polyps and colon cancer.  The researchers found the men with frontal baldness and men with frontal and vertex balding had a 30 % increase risk of colon cancer compared to men without balding. In addition, men with frontal balding had a risk of polyps.


I found this study quite interesting as it's the first study to look at the relationship between male balding and colon cancer. Whether screening guidelines for men with balding should be different than men without balding remains to be determined.  


Keum N et al. Male pattern balding and risk of colorectal neoplasia. Br J Cancer 2016 12; 114: 110-7.


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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