London, Dec 1 (ANI): Scientists have suggested that a man's risk of prostate cancer can be measured by looking at his hands.
Their study showed that men whose index fingers are longer than their ring fingers are significantly less likely to develop the disease.
It is believed that less exposure to the sex hormone testosterone in the womb results in a longer index finger and may also protect against prostate cancer.
Scientists made the discovery after analysing 1,500 prostate cancer patients and around 3,000 healthy men.
Participants were shown pictures of different finger length patterns and asked to identify the one most similar to their own right hand.
More than half the men in the study had a shorter index than ring finger. The rate of prostate cancer among this group was about the same as the rate among the men whose fingers were the same length - who made up 19 per cent of participants.
But the risk for those whose index fingers were longer than their ring fingers was reduced by 33 per cent.
The pattern was even more pronounced in men aged 60 and over. They were 87 per cent less likely to be affected by prostate cancer if they had long index fingers.
"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," the Daily Mail quoted Professor Ros Eeles, from the Institute of Cancer Research, which carried out the study, as saying. (ANI)