Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International. Approximately 910,000 cases of prostate cancer were recorded in 2008 that accounted for around 14% of all new cancer cases in men. It is predicted that the number of cases will almost double (1.7 million) by 2030. A recent study published in the British Journal of Cancer revealed a very interesting finding that men’s index finger can be a predictor of their prostate cancer risk in future. So far we know that age is the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer followed by diet, nationality, genetic, family history and others. This is the first study that showed that men with long index finger have a statistically lower risk of developing prostate cancer later in life.
About the Study
Researchers from The University of Warwick and the Institute of Cancer Research, UK compared the hands of 1,500 prostate cancer patients and 3,000 healthy men during 1994 to 2009. Results showed that
- About half of the participants had their index finger shorter than their ring finger
- Those whose index fingers were longer than their ring fingers were 33% less likely to develop the prostate cancer.
- About 19% of the men had index and ring fingers of the same length – they were also found to have very similar risks of developing prostate cancer.
- The pattern was even more pronounced in men aged 60. Men aged less than 60 years with longer index fingers than ring fingers were 87% less likely to have prostate cancer.
The researchers explained that when the baby is in the womb it is exposed to sex hormones, such as testosterone. More exposure to testosterone hormone forms shorter...
index finger and less exposure results in a longer index finger that may protect against prostate cancer later in life. Previous studies have found that men with naturally high testosterone levels have a high risk of prostate cancer.
Senior author, Professor Ros Eeles, said:
This exciting finding means that finger pattern could potentially be used to select at-risk men for ongoing screening, perhaps in combination with other factors such as family history or genetic testing.
Emma Halls, Chief Executive of Prostate Action, which helped fund the work said:
“This research brings us another step closer to helping determine risk factors for prostate cancer, which is possibly the biggest issue in current thinking about preventing and treating the disease. However, we are still a long way from reducing the number of men who die of prostate cancer every year and need more research and education in all areas to achieve this.”
This is indeed a very interesting finding revealed by the researchers. I am certain that after reading the article, if you are a male, you will check your index finger. Hope such findings will help professionals to screen the prostate cancer in advance and provide the treatment in an early stage.