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Prostate cancer is the commonest non-skin cancer affecting males and every year many men undergo blood tests to rule it out. Now, a new study suggests that the risk of prostate cancer in a man can be adjudged by simply observing his finger length ratios.
At present, the most commonly employed screening test for prostate cancer is PSA. Men, above the age of 60, complaining of problems in urinating, are subjected to serum PSA test to rule out prostate cancer. However, scientists from the University of Warwick and the Institute of Cancer Research have found a simple method to find out men who are at a higher risk to develop prostate cancer.
According to them, men can find out their probability of developing this cancer by simply gazing at their right hand. The researchers say that the length of the index finger and the ratio of the lengths of the index finger and the ring finger can give a clue whether the man is likely to develop the disease. If the length of the index finger is more than that of the ring finger, the chances of developing prostate cancer are low. The men, thus found to be at a higher risk and experiencing urinary problems, can then be subjected to further screening tests for prostate cancer, like the PSA test.
For their research, the scientists analyzed the right hand finger pattern of 1524 men suffering from prostate cancer and compared them to that of 3044 population based controls, between the periods of 1994 and 2009. All the patients suffering from prostate cancer were less than 80 years of age and based in UK. The participants were sent a postal questionnaire, wherein they were asked to identify from a series of pictures, the one that most closely resembled the finger length pattern of their right hand. The questionnaire consisted of a series of three pictures: in the first one, the index finger was longer than the ring finger; in the second one, both the fingers were of the same length; and in the third picture, the ring finger was longer than the index finger.
Most of the men picked up the picture where the index finger was smaller than the ring finger. Around 19% of them chose the picture where both the index and the ring finger were of the same length. The group that chose the picture with the index finger longer than the ring finger was the smallest one. But the cancer association was negative when the index finger was longer than the ring finger (high 2D : 4D). According to experts, this ratio has a protective action and there is a 33% reduction in prostate cancer risk in this group. The risk of prostate cancer is further reduced by almost 87% when the age of men with index finger longer than ring finger is less than 60 years.
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