Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Finger length points to prostate cancer risk

Date:
December 1, 2010
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
Men who have long index fingers are at lower risk of prostate cancer, a new study has found. Men whose index finger is longer than their ring finger were one third less likely to develop the disease than men with the opposite finger length pattern.

Men who have long index fingers are at lower risk of prostate cancer, a new study published in the British Journal of Cancer has found.

The study led by The University of Warwick and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) found men whose index finger is longer than their ring finger were one third less likely to develop the disease than men with the opposite finger length pattern.

"Our results show that relative finger length could be used as a simple test for prostate cancer risk, particularly in men aged under 60," says joint senior author Professor Ros Eeles from the ICR and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. "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."

Over a 15 year period from 1994 to 2009, the researchers quizzed more than 1,500 prostate cancer patients at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London and Surrey, Nottingham City Hospital and The Royal Hallamshire Hospitals in Sheffield, along with more than 3,000 healthy control cases. The men were shown a series of pictures of different finger length patterns and asked to identify the one most similar to their own right hand.

The most common finger length pattern, seen in more than half the men in the study, was a shorter index than ring finger. Men whose index and ring fingers were the same length (about 19 per cent) had a similar prostate cancer risk, but men whose index fingers were longer than their ring finger were 33 per cent less likely to have prostate cancer. Risk reduction was even greater in men aged under 60 years- these men were 87 per cent less likely to be in the prostate cancer group.

The relative length of index and ring fingers is set before birth, and is thought to relate to the levels of sex hormones the baby is exposed to in the womb. Less testosterone equates to a longer index finger; the researchers now believe that being exposed to less testosterone before birth helps protect against prostate cancer later in life. The phenomenon is thought to occur because the genes HOXA and HOXD control both finger length and development of sex organs.

Previous studies have found a link between exposure to hormones while in the womb and the development of other diseases, including breast cancer (linked to higher prenatal oestrogen exposure) and osteoarthritis (linked to having an index finger shorter than ring finger).

Joint senior author, Professor Ken Muir from the University of Warwick, says: "Our study indicates it is the hormone levels that babies are exposed to in the womb which can have an effect decades later. As our research continues, we will be able to look at a further range of factors that may be involved in the make-up of the disease."

The study was funded by Prostate Cancer Research Foundation and Cancer Research UK.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A A Rahman, A Lophatananon, S S Brown, D Harriss, J Anderson, T Parker, D Easton, Z Kote-Jarai, R Pocock, D Dearnaley, M Guy, L O'Brien, R A Wilkinson, A L Hall, E Sawyer, E Page, J-F Liu, R A Eeles, K Muir. Hand pattern indicates prostate cancer risk. British Journal of Cancer, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605986

Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Finger length points to prostate cancer risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101201100015.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2010, December 1). Finger length points to prostate cancer risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101201100015.htm
University of Warwick. "Finger length points to prostate cancer risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101201100015.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins