London: Men, please note -- hair`s the clue to prostate cancer, say researchers.
A new study, led by Paris Descartes University, has found that men who start losing their hair at the age of 20 are at a far greater risk of developing prostate cancer later in life than others.
In fact, they are twice as likely to get the disease as men who keep their hair in their 30s and beyond.
But, a pill that helps prevent hair loss may also help to ward off cancer, say the researchers who now believe that there could be a case for offering 20-year-olds cancer screening.
The study found that men who lose their hair early have high levels of a form of testosterone, which also plays a part in the development of prostate cancer, the `Daily Express` reported.
But men who start to lose their hair relatively young at 30 or 40 were not at greater risk of tumours.
Philippe Giraud, professor of radiation oncology at Paris Descartes University, who led the research, said that hair loss could be a simple way to spot men at high risk of developing prostate cancer.
The researchers hope the drug Propecia could help cut the risk of prostate cancer by stopping the body converting testosterone to a form that promotes baldness.
However, experts are not fully convinced. Dr Kate Holmes, from The Prostate Cancer Charity, said the study was "interesting" but further research was needed in this regard.