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Thursday 27th June 2019

Finger length clue to prostate cancer

1st December 2010

Researchers have found that men with long index fingers have less likelihood of prostate cancer.


The British Journal of Cancer study said that men with longer index fingers than ring fingers had inbuilt protection against the disease.

Around 36,000 men in Britain are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and it causes 10,000 deaths.

The researchers, from the University of Warwick and the Institute of Cancer Research, compared the hands of 1,500 men who had prostate cancer against the hands of 3,000 men who did not have the disease.

They said that finger length was determined before a baby is born, due to the levels of testosterone the foetus is exposed to in the womb.

Babies with longer index fingers had been exposed to lower levels of testosterone and could therefore have less risk of the disease.

One of the report authors, Professor Ros Eeles, said more research was necessary.

She added: "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, 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."


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