How Your Fingers Can Predict The Risk Of Prostate Cancer

As we know, cancer is a disease which is a serious one and it has also become very common, especially in the past few decades. A number of surveys and research studies conducted over the years have shown that the past two decades have seen a significant increase in the number of cancer patients, every year, all over the world. Especially, cancers caused by lifestyle-related reasons have become prevalent among people, regardless of age and gender.

Cancer can be defined as a disease where there is an abnormal growth and multiplication of cells in the body, which turn into cancerous tumours or lumps in certain parts of the body. Eventually, if not treated, or if treatment fails, these cancerous tumours can start to eat away at the tissues around them and can also destroy the organs. When the organs begin to get destroyed by cancerous cells, they can fail, resulting in death.

What Is Prostate Cancer

Now, cancer is one of those diseases for which there is no specific cause. The causes of most types of cancers can never be determined, as there could be more than one cause. For example, breast cancer can be the result of heredity, where the patient's female ancestors have suffered from the same disease, or it could also develop due to overexposure to radiation.

So, the causes of cancer can be numerous and are also dependent on many factors such as the sex and age of a person, the type of cancer caused, their lifestyle habits, their health history and so on.

There are numerous types of cancers which can affect any part of the body; some of the common ones being, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, blood cancer, lung cancer, brain tumour, etc. Each type of cancer has different symptoms, some of which are specific to that particular type of cancer.

Also, some symptoms of cancer can be silent or "hidden", which means that they may not be very apparent. Similarly, every disease also has certain risk factors, that is, a set of reasons why a person is affected with that disease, which help in determining the type of treatment.

Now, let us find out how our fingers can tell us about this risk factor of prostate cancer.

What Is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is the type of cancer which affects the prostate gland in men and this cancer is specific only to men. The prostate gland is a tiny, walnut-sized gland found between the bladder and the penis in men.

The prostate gland is a very essential part of the male reproductive system, as its function is to secrete a fluid which nourishes the sperm and this fluid is ejaculated along with the sperm, during sexual intercourse, aiding in conception.

When there is an abnormal growth and multiplication of cancerous cells in the prostate gland, it leads to prostate cancer. Usually, prostate cancer is treatable if diagnosed in the early stages; however, if it is found out only during the last stages, it could be hard to treat and can result in death.

Some of the more apparent and common symptoms of prostate cancer are as follows:

  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Difficulty in starting and stopping urine flow
  • Pain during urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Difficulty in attaining and maintaining an erection during sex
  • Pain during ejaculation
  • Bone fractures
  • Pain in the femur bones, ribs and spine

How Your Finger Can Predict The Risk Factor Of Prostate Cancer?

As we may know, every disease has a set of risk factors, or causes that make a person more prone to the particular disease.

When it comes to prostate cancer, apart from the common risk factors, such as poor lifestyle habits, heredity, the presence of certain STDs, etc., there is yet another risk factor which could make a person more prone to this disease, according to experts.

A research study published in 2011, after conducting tests on more than 1,500 prostate cancer patients, stated that men who have index fingers longer than their ring fingers are more at a risk of developing prostate cancer!

Yes, this risk factor may sound rather bizarre, but men with longer index fingers (longer than the ring finger) have a 33% higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Experts further state that this could be because of the HOX genes. The HOX genes are the key elements in the development of organs and also the fingers.

It was also noted by experts in a research conducted in 2015 that the HOX genes were out of proportion in prostate cancer patients.

So, the ratio of the index finger and the ring finger could be linked to the disproportionate HOX genes, which in turn could be a risk factor for prostate cancer.

The exact reason as to how and why HOX genes play a role in prostate cancer is yet to be found out by the experts; however, they are certain that the index finger to ring finger ratio is connected to the HOX genes, which could trigger prostate cancer.

Also, it is important to note that not every man with his index finger longer than the middle finger is prone to prostate cancer. It is just one of the risk factors, recently discovered.

Regardless of the size of the fingers, one must get tested for prostate cancer regularly, especially after the age of 55 or if they notice any symptoms.

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    Read more about: cancer wellness
    Story first published: Friday, August 24, 2018, 19:15 [IST]
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