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Health Tests Men Need

Health Tests Men Need - The length of a man's index finger may indicate his prostate cancer risk, a recent study conducted by The University of Warwick and the Institute of Cancer Research found.

The research findings were published in the British Journal of Cancer, causing a buzz in the medical community and among men concerned about their prostate health.

According to the study, if your index finger is longer than your ring finger, you are at a 33% lower risk for prostate cancer than when the hand pattern is reversed; ring finger longer than index finger. The length of the first and third finger is set in the womb.

Researchers over a 15-year period collected data on finger length in 1,524 patients with prostate cancer as well as 3,044 healthy men. They found that more than half the men had the more common pattern of shorter index to ring finger.

Health Tests Men Need

Men with both fingers of the same length had the same risk as those with shorter index to ring finger. Men under 60 years with the beneficial hand pattern, had an even lower reduction of 87%. The Researchers believe that this phenomenon occurs because the homeobox genes HOXA and HOXD, control both growth and pattern of fingers --digits-- as well as the development of sex organs.

Babies exposed to less testosterone, a male sex hormone, are more likely to have longer index fingers. This consequently means that babies with more exposure to testosterone in the womb are more likely to have a shorter index to ring finger ratio, and thus a higher risk of prostate cancer. On the other hand, babies exposed to less testosterone before birth have some protection against prostate cancer in later life.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in men, next to lung cancer in the U.S.. According to the American Cancer Society, about one in six men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, yet only one in 35 men will succumb to the disease.

Health Tests Men Need

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