prostate cancer risk

How to Give Prostate Cancer the Finger

Finger length on a guy's right hand may be an important marker regarding prostate cancer risk.

By Adam Bean


How to Give Prostate Cancer the Finger

Finger length may affect prostate cancer risk, but other risk factors are easier to manipulate.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—British researchers have found a correlation between finger length and prostate cancer risk, as reported in a recent issue of Cancer Research U.K. Don't reach for the measuring tape yet, though. Finger length may be fixed, but the findings don't change the need to attend to the prostate cancer risk factors you do have control over.

THE DETAILS: The researchers analyzed right-hand pattern and prostate cancer risk in 1,524 mean with the disease and 3,044 men without the disease. Turns out the men who had a longer index finger than ring finger had a remarkable 33 percent lower risk of getting prostate cancer than men whose index finger was shorter then their ring finger. The decreased risk was even greater among men under 60.

WHAT IT MEANS: This is a bizarre-seeming correlation on the face of it, but there's a connection between fingers and the disease, and it all goes back to the womb. That's when your finger length is determined—in part by the level of testosterone the fetus comes in contact with in the uterus. It's this same intrauterine testosterone that also helps determine cancer risk. Specifically, the U.K. researchers believe that lower prenatal activity of testosterone increases the likelihood of a longer index finger and provides protection against prostate cancer later in life.

Published on: January 3, 2011
Updated on: January 4, 2011

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