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Index Finger Size and Prostate Cancer

Updated on December 9, 2010

Men whose index finger is longer than the ring finger face a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer, according to a study published by the British Journal of Cancer. The chances of developing the disease drop by a third, even more so in younger men, the study said. Professor at the Institute of Cancer Research UK and study co-author, Ros Eeles, explains that the relative length of the finger can be used as a simple test for the risk of prostate cancer, especially in men younger than 60 years. The pattern of the fingers may help identify which men should undergo regular screening, especially in combination with genetic testing or other risk factors such as family history of disease.

From 1994 to 2009, Dr. Eeles and colleagues questioned more than 1,500 patients with prostate cancer in the UK, along with 3,000 healthy control cases. In more than half of men, the index finger was smaller than the ring finger. Compared with this group, men whose ring finger and had the same length - 19% of the group - had a risk of prostate cancer similar. But when the index finger was bigger, the risk of developing the disease fell by 33%. Men under 60 years had 87% less likely to be in the cancer group. The relative length of two fingers in question - as defined before birth - appears to be a marker of different levels of hormones to which a baby is exposed in the womb, with less testosterone correlated with a longer index fingers.

Previous research has shown that testosterone promotes the growth of prostate cancer. Other studies have found a link between exposure to hormones before birth and development of the diseases, including breast cancer and osteoarthritis.

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    • jdavis88 profile image

      Joseph Davis 7 years ago from Florida

      Interesting, but not quite conclusive. Although some aspects of anatomy have been proven to point towards medical problems, I would definitely not worry over such a small study. I think the larger risk would be for people with longer index fingers to worry less about their risk of cancers. Very good hub though, nice research and good layout.