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Five odd clues that reveal your true prostate cancer risk

by , 21 April 2015

Attention men! You're not getting any younger and that means you should be increasingly concerned about your risk of prostate cancer.

After all, prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among men in the world.

Your family history, age and race are the most common risk factors for the disease, but recent research compiled by the British Journal of Cancer (BJC) has unearthed some other, more unusual links as well.

Read on for five odd signs that you may be at risk of prostate cancer.

Risk #1: Your finger length

Your finger length? That’s right! You don’t have to be a palm reader to see the future in your hands. According to researchers at the BJC, the relative length of your fingers could point to your prostate cancer risk. Researchers studied 5,000 men – some with prostate cancer and some without – and discovered that those with an index finger longer than their ring finger were 33% less likely to have prostate cancer than men with an index finger the same length or shorter than their ring finger.
Researchers claim that this has something to do with your hormone levels at birth. The more testosterone a baby is expose to in the womb, the shorter his index finger will be later in life. But don’t think of your fate as the hands of fate – experts say finger length is by no means a symptom or guarantee of prostate cancer, but rather an alert.
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Risk #2: Hair loss

Early balding isn’t just a vanity concern. Researchers says it may also be a sign of serious health problems to come. Researchers studied 669 men and found that those who began losing hair at age 20 were twice as likely to get prostate cancer later in life.
But there’s good news to this finding:  Early baldness wasn’t associated with an earlier onset of prostate cancer or with more aggressive cancer. Experts can’t yet tell for sure what the connection is, but some suspect it’s related to the male hormones known as androgens (such as testosterone). These can inhibit hair growth while also triggering abnormal expansion of prostate cells.

Risk #3: The gender of your children

According to researchers, men who father only daughters are up to 60% more likely to develop prostate cancer than those who father only sons. Researchers speculate that the reason behind this may be chromosomal: It’s possible that some men are predisposed to having daughters because of certain unique characteristics on their Y chromosome (the sex-determining chromosome), which might also enhance their risk.
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Risk #4: Your sex drive

Feeling more passionate than usual? This could be bad news for your prostate cancer risk, but it depends on how old you are. 
Researchers studied 840 men and discovered that those who masturbated more and were more sexually active in their20s and 30s were more likely to develop prostate cancer. However, the opposite was true for men in their 40s and 50s. 
Researchers say that more evidence is needed to explain this link, but speculate that the role between hormones, sex drive and prostate cancer is complex and tends to change with age.

Risk #5: Where you live

Researchers say that men who live in cities north of 40 degrees latitude have the highest risk of dying from prostate cancer – how frightening! They explain that a number of factors could be involved in this spike though, including that people who live in cities as such tend to get less sunlight during the winter and as a result have vitamin D levels, which may in turn increase prostate cancer risk.

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