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Finger Length Linked To Prostate Cancer Risk

December 30, 2010

Men who have an index finger that is longer than their ring finger have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Researchers studied the ratio between the 2nd and 4th finger on the right hand of 1,524 prostate-cancer patients and 3,044 healthy people over a 15-year period. They found that men with longer index fingers were 33 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer, and men under 60 had an 87 percent lower risk.

In those with prostate-cancer, index fingers were longer in about 23 percent of men and shorter in 57 percent. In the control group, index fingers were longer in 31 percent and shorter in 52 percent. The rest had fingers of equal length.

The findings concur with another recent study of 366 Korean men, which found a substantial link between digit ratio and prostate-cancer risk, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Finger length is determined before birth and is believed to be the result of hormonal influences. Too much testosterone seems to be the main factor in raising the risk of prostate cancer just as prenatal exposure to estrogen affects a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Hand patterns may be a simple marker for prostate-cancer risk, researchers said.

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